I am delighted to welcome you to the 15th edition of the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship, with 20 teams set to compete in Argentina for the highest honour in their age category.
Age group tournaments provide a foundation for young players to develop their game against the crème-de-la-crème of the sport in this age group. This is the breeding ground of champions, where the stars of tomorrow are made.
Volleyball is currently enjoying a boom period in Argentina. The women’s team qualified for their first Olympic Games this year and Argentinian coaches and players are in demand across the world.
Argentina showed its organisational capabilities most recently when they organised the 2013 FIVB World League Finals and the 2015 U19 Boy’s World Championship, so I have every confidence that the organisers will make this an event to remember by ensuring only the best facilities and conditions are available to the players.
Talent, skill and dedication have been three key factors in these young athletes reaching this stage of their careers. The physical and mental challenges they encounter will stand them in good stead for the future, especially for the players who will eventually make the leap to senior level competition. This will no doubt be a memorable event for all involved, providing a foundation on which team relationships can flourish and cultural lessons can be learned.
Volleyball has transformed over the past few years, and is quickly becoming the number one family entertainment sport. It is up to the stars of the future to continue this upward trend and inspire the next generation to take up this magnificent game.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish all competing athletes the best of luck. Your passion, commitment, dedication and love for the sport provide the catalyst to take volleyball to the next level.
Dr. Ary S. Graça F°