Filip Grądek, fot. Cyfraplus, 13 January 2019
Warsaw, Poland, January 13, 2019. On Saturday evening, the Polsat TV studios in Warsaw hosted the grand gala celebrating 90 years of Polish Volleyball and 20 years of its partnership with Plus, one of the two main sponsors of the sport in Poland. The event crowned the yearlong celebrations of the most successful team sport in the country.
Indeed, “There is no other team sport in Poland that could match these achievements” – as the President of Poland Andrzej Duda noted in his opening speech, which briefly touched on all of the key moments of almost a century of the sport in the country, before ending with the words: “long live Volleyball”.
The event itself was in a way a travel through time from the pre-war beginnings to last year’s defending of the World Championship title by the Polish men’s National Team. During the gala, a few generations of Polish Volleyball stars and some of the people who laid the foundations for the country’s biggest successes were honoured.
The organisers presented special awards, among others, to the 1964 and 1968 Olympic Women’s bronze medallists and 1963 and 1967 European Vice-champions, with their coach Benedykt Krysik. Posthumous awards went to coaches Hubert Jerzy Wagner – author of Poland’s 1974-76 World and Olympic titles, as well as Andrzej Niemczyk, who led his team of Polish women to a double European gold in 2003 and 2005. The members of those extraordinary teams were also present at the event.
Among those decorated for the achievements in the more recent years was the coach of the 2014 World Champions Stéphane Antiga with his star players, Paweł Zagumny and Mariusz Wlazły.
Last year’s World Champions from Bulgaria and Italy received their awards from the hands of CEV President Aleksandar Boričić, and Mr Fabio Azevedo, General Director of the FIVB. The European Confederation President praised Poland’s achievements in his speech and presented Polish Volleyball Federation President Jacek Kasprzyk with a special award, while Mr Azevedo revealed that Poland would be hosting the 2022 FIVB Women’s World Championship, together with the Netherlands, adding one more reason to celebrate on that special evening.
After taking time to award the sponsors – Plus and ORLEN, as well as the representatives of the cities, who hosted some of the biggest European and World Volleyball events in recent years, the later, less formal part of the event could begin, with a charity auction of some unique Volleyball memorabilia.
© Polish Volleyball Federation, 2017