Nearly €600,000 raised for FIVB Volleyball Foundation. FIVB

Volleyball Foundation ready to serve the world after incredible launch event at the headquarters of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (International Volleyball Federation, FIVB) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The FIVB headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, welcomed guests from the international sporting community and beyond for the launch of the Volleyball Foundation, which raised over CHF 559,000 (€573,368.54) through donations and a special charity auction to support high-impact volleyball projects around the world. 

The event featured a special charity auction conducted by Piguet Auction House, with unique volleyball memorabilia generously donated by the FIVB and legends of the game. With both online and live bidding, the auction raised CHF 59,000 (€60,516.54) for the Volleyball Foundation. 

This amount, along with CHF 300,000 (€307,711.20) from the FIVB, £100,000 (€117,413.97) from the CVC Foundation, and generous contributions from IOC member Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul and FIVB Board Member and president of Volleyball Australia Craig Carracher, brought the total amount raised to CHF 559,000 (€573,368.54). 

As announced by FIVB and Volleyball Foundation President Ary S. Graça, the FIVB plans to allocate an annual budget of CHF 1 million (€1,023,762.60) to the Volleyball Foundation in 2025 and 2026, subject to approval by the FIVB World Congress later this year. 

€573,368.54 raised through charity auction. FIVB
€573,368.54 raised through charity auction. FIVB

The evening began with a speech from FIVB and Volleyball Foundation President Ary S. Graça, who welcomed the guests and explained how the Foundation will better connect and expand the global volleyball community of 800 million people in 222 countries. 

"The Volleyball Foundation will play a vital role in promoting positive social values and helping to create a more cooperative and harmonious world. It aims to create a world where everyone has access to sport, regardless of gender, age or position. Where they have the opportunity to be healthy and active. To experience the joy of volleyball. And to learn important skills that will serve them throughout their lives," stated the FIVB President. 

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach praised the initiative and thanked Graça. "Through this project, volleyball can really contribute to delivering the Olympic values and make the world a better place through sport. The IOC already works closely with the FIVB through Olympafrica and the Olympic Refuge Foundation," he said. 

The Volleyball Foundation presented two pilot projects: the Brahmaputra Volleyball League, a grassroots community league in Assam, India, involving over 10,000 children; and the Githurai Kimbo Volleyball Academy, which provides a sanctuary through volleyball for youth in one of the most challenging slums in Nairobi, Kenya.

Abhijit Bhattacharya, head of the Brahmaputra Volleyball League, with Ary S. Graça. FIVB
Abhijit Bhattacharya, head of the Brahmaputra Volleyball League, with Ary S. Graça. FIVB

Also introduced was the Volleyball Foundation's independent Board of Directors, a diverse group of individuals dedicated to the Foundation's vision of a better world through volleyball. The Board members include: 

-Ary S. Graça, President of the FIVB and the Volleyball Foundation. 

-Fabio Azevedo, General Director of the FIVB. 

-Alejandrina Mireya Luis, FIVB Executive Vice-President, and a three-time Olympic and two-time World champion. 

-Yuji Saeki, President & CEO of Mikasa, FIVB Board of Administration Member. 

-Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation. 

-Princess Ayah bint Faisal of Jordan, President of the Jordan Volleyball Federation and Board Member of the Jordan Olympic Committee. 

-Nick Clarry, Managing Partner of CVC. 

-Charles Joye, Secretary of the Board. 

Elizaveta Bracht, Ary S. Graça and Abhijit Bhattacharya. FIVB
Elizaveta Bracht, Ary S. Graça and Abhijit Bhattacharya. FIVB

Elizaveta Bracht, a two-time Olympic volleyball silver medallist, has been appointed Executive Director of the Volleyball Foundation. Major supporters of the Volleyball Foundation were also announced, including KITT & KISS, Mikasa, Decathlon, the Qatar Foundation, Generations for Peace and the Jordan Olympic Committee. 

Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan said: "In 2004, I went to the Athens Olympic Games with the mantra 'Peace is Greater than Gold'. That's why we founded 'Generations For Peace' to use the power of sport to change divided communities for the better. What the Volleyball Foundation is doing is a continuation of that work, so it is an honour and a pleasure  to be associated with the Volleyball Foundation." 

"The values of respect, friendship and cooperation are all lessons from sport. Volleyball is so well positioned because it has these values, along with communication and coordination. These are the keys to transforming societies and communities that are suffering. As President Graça said, together we can make a difference and this Foundation will make a difference. 

The President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti, was also present. "I have had the privilege of working with the FIVB and Ary S. Graça for five years. What he has done tonight with the Volleyball Foundation is to create a grassroots, social and community organisation, and that is very important. The Volleyball Foundation is a model for others and I wish it every success," he said. 

IOC President Thomas Bach addresses the guests in Lausanne. IOC
IOC President Thomas Bach addresses the guests in Lausanne. IOC

The event also saw the introduction of the Volleyball Foundation's Ambassadors, all of whom are true legends of the sport. They include three-time Olympic champion and two-time World champion Mireya Luis Hernandez from Cuba, Olympic champion Vlad Grbic from Serbia and Olympic champion and three-time World champion Giba from Brazil. 

The FIVB Volleyball Foundation also announced that the official notary signing ceremony took place this week in Lausanne, Switzerland, marking the formal establishment of the organisation that will serve the world through volleyball. 

Launched in May 2024, the FIVB Volleyball Foundation uses the global reach and power of volleyball to support community projects that make a positive impact around the world. By identifying pioneering projects, the Foundation supports and provides funding and resources to advance certified projects that promote the social well-being of communities through volleyball.