Lausanne, Switzerland, January 3, 2017 - For the first time in history Argentina is gearing up to host a female volleyball World Championship, when the country welcomes the 2017 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship, August 18-27 - confirming its commitment to developing women's volleyball on the back of Argentina's women's debut Olympic appearance in Rio 2016, while building a legacy to last.
The competition is the latest in a string of grassroots FIVB competitions hosted in the South American country, after the 2011 (in Almirante Brown and Bahia Blanca) and the 2015 (in Chaco and Corrientes) Boys' U19 events.
For the first time since the sport was introduced to the Olympic Programme in Tokyo 1964, Argentina qualified a women's team to the ultimate sporting competition last year. The team scored their first ever Olympic win in five sets over Cameroon to finish joint ninth overall amongst 12 entrants.Argentina's women's national team celebrate a historic Olympic win over Cameroon at the Rio 2016 Games.
Santa Fe Province is the natural place to host such a historically important event, according to Santa Fe Volleyball Federation president Fabian Bochatay.
"Santa Fe is one of the provinces with the stronger girls' youth competitions of the country and that generates a very important number of strong players," he said.
"Santa Fe became the latest U13, U15 and U17 national champions and our clubs also claimed titles at the U13 and U17 Argentine Cups. That is not a small matter, it is hard work, engagement, development and professionalism. To organize in Santa Fe a World Championship is an award for all the people that live to make volleyball better day after day. Mainly this Girls' Youth World Championship will have a great effect on the younger girls, motivating them to train and play volleyball."
"This event motivates us and the club authorities and we hope to be able to add over 20 new clubs to the federal competition system while also drawing more than 1,000 girls to volleyball during the year - and that is really our main target."Argentina's youngsters celebrate win over the Dominican Republic at the 2015 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship in Peru.
The Province of Santa Fe, including the largest city of Rosario and the capital of Santa Fe itself will welcome the top twenty Girls' Under-18 teams of the globe to determine the world champions.
The municipal authorities of both cities, plus the Provincial Government are all providing their full support for the project, in addition to FeVA - the Argentine Volleyball Federation FeVA, ENARD - the national body of high performance sports, and the National Sport Secretariat, according to President Bochatay.
"We are working at the moment with private enterprises to add their support, because such an important event must be the result of the perfect formula: public, private and intermediate institutions all together," he added.
Santa Fe Union and Rosario Newell's Old Boys Stadium are being prepared to greet the participating teams next August. "[They both] need some improvements and to be adapted for a successful competition," he said. "We know that many teams will arrive beforehand to adapt to our climate and to the time difference between different parts of the world and therefore we have planned two camps to host them, one next to Rosario and one next to Santa Fe."
Six teams have already booked their tickets for the event: Argentina as hosts, Egypt as African champions, Brazil and Peru from South America, plus the Dominican Republic and USA from North & Central America and the Caribbean.
Four tickets from Asia will be determined at the Asian Championship in March and six from Europe and the European Championship in April. Two more NORCECA and one more South American spot will be filled at the Pan American Cup in April. One last ticket is yet to be determined.
China have been the dominant force in the Girls' U18 World Championships historically, leading the medals table with four gold plus a silver and a bronze - though Brazil in total have earned nine medals (3 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze).Italy celebrate win over USA in the final for the 2015 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship title.Related link:2017 FIVB Girls U18 World ChampionshipQuick links - Volleyball:FIVB.com - VolleyballFIVB.com
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