Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, Zoran Gajić, Minister of Sports, Ana Bjelica, team captain of the senior women’s national team, and Bogdan Tomašević, member of the Serbian pre-youth national team, have laid the foundation stone and ceremoniously opened the construction works for the National Volleyball Training Centre in Belgrade.
The ceremony was attended by Marko Blagojević, Minister of Public Investments, Aleksandar Šapić, Lord Mayor of Belgrade, Fabio Azevedo, FIVB General Director, Steve Tutton, FIVB Technical Director, Aleksandar Boričić, CEV President, Gyula Mester, President of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, Ivan Knežević, Secretary General of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, and members of the women’s senior and men’s pre-youth national teams of Serbia.
The delegation of the Ministry of Sports, led by Minister Zoran Gajić, included Marko Kešelj, State Secretary for Sports, Dejan Bojović, Special Advisor to the Minister of Sports, and Jovan Knežević, Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Sports.
Bojan Kekić, President of the Executive Board at Banka Poštanska Štedionica (Postal Savings Bank), led the delegation of the general sponsor of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, which included Nataša Marković, Brankica Tintor, and Aleksandar Čortan, all members of the Executive Board.
The delegation of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia consisted of Vesna Djurisic, Vice-President, Petar Bogunović, Vice-President, Dragutin Ćuk, Technical Director, Danilo Mrdja, Competition Director, Dusko Nikolic, President of the Association of Volleyball Coaches, and Goran Gradinski, President of the Association of Volleyball Referees.
The ceremony was attended also by Bozidar Maljkovic, President of the Serbian Olympic Committee, Djordje Visacki, Secretary General of the Serbian Olympic Committee, Zarko Zecevic, Vice-President of the Serbian Olympic Committee, Milutin Popović, President of the Volleyball Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Frane Zanic, President of the Croatian Volleyball Federation, Valentina Bifflin, Secretary General of the Croatian Volleyball Federation, Dane Basta, Regional Secretary for Sports and Youth, Goran Marinkovic, Secretary General of the Sports Association of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, long-time Secretary General of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, as well as delegates of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia General Assembly and representatives of Serbian volleyball clubs.
Zoran Gajić, Minister of Sports in the Serbian Government, announced that the completion of the construction works of the National Volleyball Training Centre is scheduled for May 2025.
“I think this is a historic day for us, and a dream come true for all generations of volleyball players. Our teams will have optimal conditions to prepare well and hopefully win many more medals in the future. This is a big deal also for our federation, because we will get top-level infrastructure in one place. I want to thank our Government and the President of the Republic of Serbia who helped us in turning this idea into reality. This is a great motivation for all of us to bring even more energy into our work,” saidGyula Mester, President of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia.
“All members of the Serbian volleyball community are very happy today. This was a long-lasting dream for us, and now it is reality. New generations of players will have great conditions to prepare and work, but I need to point out that even before, when we did not have such ideal circumstances, we managed to achieve some great results. So, the management of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia and coaches will have to work hard and change a lot of things to better the previous results. We know that you cannot do much better than to win the World Championship, but we must keep these excellent results coming,” stated CEV President Aleksandar Boričić.
“I want to thank everyone for having me here. For us this is a historic day. We are fighting for our athletes and their conditions all the time. This centre of excellence that the Serbian Government is constructing here, for Serbian athletes and for Volleyball in Serbia, this is remarkable, that is amazing. I am sure that this will be one of the greatest projects ever. CEV President Aleksandar Boričić, who has been involved in Volleyball for many decades, said to me that this is the dream of his generation. I agree and understand. This is the dream of athletes in Serbia coming true. I believe that the future is bright. I wish Serbia all the best and I am offering our partnership to contribute to this wonderful cause,” said Fabio Azevedo, FIVB General Director.