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02/11/2018 21:00
Superstars take centre stage at annual European Volleyball Gala
News from the CEV

Budapest, Hungary, November 2, 2018. To cap an incredibly exciting couple of days for Europe’s Volleyball family, the annual European Volleyball Gala took place on Friday night at the Várkert Bazár in Budapest. As it has become a tradition, the major stars of the sport took centre stage as the CEV awarded the top players, coaches and teams of the year across Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. These athletes can certainly play a leading role in growing Volleyball at all levels, especially by inspiring the younger generations. The organisers of the inaugural CEV Snow Volleyball European Championship held in Austria received the award for the ‘CEV Event of the Year’. The CEV, together with FIVB, are putting an emphasis on growing Snow Volleyball as a truly unique opportunity to bring Volleyball to a much wider audience and to take the sport to some of the most iconic mountainous locations across the continent.

“We are extremely happy that we are in Budapest today. We had an amazing evening yesterday and we look forward to coming back for EuroVolley 2019,” said CEV President Aleksandar Boričić in his opening address referring to Thursday’s EuroVolley logo launch event, which opened a brand new era for European Volleyball.


CEV President Aleksandar Boričić thanking the President of the Hungarian Volleyball Federation, Dr Ferenc Kovacs, for hosting the 2018 edition of the European Volleyball Gala

The President of the Hungarian Volleyball Federation, Dr Ferenc Kovacs, took to the stage as well: “I am very grateful to the CEV and personally to President Boričić for providing us with the opportunity to host this year’s European Volleyball Gala. The history of Hungarian Volleyball goes back to the 1930s. We have witnessed numerous glorious moments across the past seven decades and we are especially proud of our European Championship medals and participations in the World Championships and Olympic Games. Hungarians love Volleyball and our people are very proud of our Volleyball legends. Hungary is a sports nation whose people have much respect for their champions and which invests a lot into participation of young people in sports. I am sure that 2019 will be a glorious year for Volleyball in Hungary as we co-host the women’s EuroVolley together with our friends from Turkey, Poland and Slovakia and the Sitting Volleyball European Championships as well. We look forward to welcoming you all again to Hungary for our year of Volleyball.”

The list of awards and their respective recipients from the 2018 European Volleyball Gala features:


Male Volleyball Player of the Year

Bartosz KUREK (POL) – Kurek was pivotal to Poland’s success at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria, where he received the award for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament and was the best scorer of the competition with an amazing tally of 171 points. Now 30 years old, Kurek is also a former European champion (2009) and bronze medallist from the EuroVolley (2011), as well as a gold medal winner from the 2012 edition of the FIVB World League. With the national team of Poland, Kurek finished second and third in the 2011 and 2015 editions of the FIVB World Cup. Moreover, he is a three-time national champion of Poland with PGE Skra BELCHATOW and a silver and bronze medal winner in the CEV Volleyball Champions League with that same team (in 2012 and 2010, respectively).
 

Female Volleyball Player of the Year

Tijana BOŠKOVIĆ (SRB) – Bošković is Europe’s Female Volleyball Player of the Year for the second straight season. She helped Serbia claim a historic gold medal at the FIVB Women’s World Championship in Japan, an unprecedented feat in Serbia’s Volleyball history. She received the award for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament – after achieving the same feat at the 2017 EuroVolley in Baku and at the CEV Cup Finals earlier this year. Bošković will be one of the major stars competing in this year’s CEV Volleyball Champions League where she will be wearing the shirt of Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL.


Kings of the Beach


Anders Berntsen MOL/Christian Sandlie SØRUM (NOR) – Mol and Sørum claimed the gold medal from this year’s EuroBeachVolley in The Hague at the age of 21 and 22, respectively. In doing so, they became Norway’s first European champions since Vegard Høidalen and Jørre André Kjemperud earned the continental title in 1997. Anders and Christian also claimed Gold medals in two FIVB 5-Star events – Gstaad and Vienna, as well as at the World Tour Finals in Hamburg and thus secured the number one spot in the FIVB World Ranking. They took most of the post-season FIVB World Tour awards, with Mol sweeping the Most Outstanding Player, Best Blocker, Most Improved Player and Best Offensive Player prizes. Christian Sørum, on the other hand, received the award for the Best Defensive Player of the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour.


Queens of the Beach


Barbora HERMANNOVA/Marketa SLUKOVA (CZE) – This was the most successful season for the Czech girls as they claimed Gold at home in the FIVB 4-Star event in Ostrava and in Vienna at the last 5-Star event / Major Series of the season. They claimed bronze at the European Championship in the Netherlands to go with silver from the 2016 #EuroBeachVolley and these results helped them end the season at the top of the FIVB World Ranking. On top of this, they took silver at the World Tour Finals in Hamburg.

Women’s Team Coach of the Year


Zoran TERZIĆ (SRB) – Terzić has been at the helm of the Serbian national team since 2002. Under his tenure, Serbia have made Volleyball history with two gold medals from the EuroVolley (2011, 2017), silver from the Rio 2016 Olympics and World Championship gold in 2018 – to follow on the bronze medal they won in the 2006 edition as Serbia and Montenegro. Terzić has been a successful coach at the club level as well and this season will be at the helm of Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce SK ISTANBUL.


Coach of the Year Vital
Heynen surprised everyone by presenting himself the CEV President with some Belgian chocolate 

Men’s Team Coach of the Year


Vital HEYNEN (BEL) – head coach of VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN and of the Polish National team. With VfB FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Heynen finished fifth in the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League, thus significantly improving on the 14th place from the year before. However, his real moment of ‘immortal glory’ came at the FIVB Men’s World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria where he steered Poland to the gold medal – their second in a row in the competition – after outclassing reigning Olympic champions Brazil 3-0 in the gold medal match. Heynen surprised the audience in Budapest presenting the CEV President and members of the CEV Board of Administration with Belgian chocolate he had brought from home.

Special award for outstanding achievements in age-group competitions

Denis SHEKUNOV/Dmitrii VERETIUK (RUS) – 17 and 16 years old respectively, they are the reigning U20 European and U19 World champions. The very same Russian team finished the 2018 CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European championship in fourth place and claimed bronze in the U18 European championship held back in August 2018. Upon receiving their award in Budapest, Shekunov and Veretiuk named 2018 European Champions and newly crowned ‘Kings of the Beach’ Mol/Sørum – who were just standing nearby – as their idols.


Lifetime Achievement Award


Carlo SALVATORI (ITA) – A successful businessperson and banker, he chaired the Organising Committees of the 2010, 2014 and 2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championships held in Italy, an unprecedented feat, contributing to the huge success of these events that have cemented the status of Volleyball as one of the top sports in Italy and in Europe as well.


CEV Event of the Year


2018 CEV Snow Volleyball European Championship - Wagrain-Kleinarl & Flachau (AUT) – The inaugural Snow Volleyball European Championship, held at the very same place where Snow Volleyball was ‘born’ back in 2008. The event featured 24 teams per gender from as many as 18 countries, with Russia and Lithuania claiming men’s and women’s gold, respectively. The CEV registered hundreds of thousands of views for the live streaming and the #SnowTime daily show run on their social media channels, while TV stations provided coverage of the competition across as many as 19 European countries and across the globe as well via the partnership established with Eurosport Asia Pacific. Moreover, 14,000 spectators visited the venue of the historic championship throughout the weekend.

Note: Bartosz Kurek, Tijana Bošković and Zoran Terzić could not attend the Gala in Budapest due to prior commitments with their respective clubs. They nevertheless sent video messages in to accept their prizes in absentia.

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