GVA on the move in busy weekend
The Gibraltar Volleyball Association had a bustling weekend with multiple exciting events. One team journeyed to Italy to participate in an international beach volleyball competition, while another smaller delegation headed to Bulgaria to participate in CEV meetings.
Meanwhile, locally, a tribute tournament in memory of the late Max Santos took place at the Europa Volleyball Courts. Prior to the weekend, the junior team left to represent Gibraltar in a beach volleyball tournament and had the pleasure of meeting Mārtiņš Pļaviņš, a bronze medalist from the 2012 Olympics in London. Mārtiņš Pļaviņš has continued his career, representing Latvia in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, and participating in the European Beach Volleyball Championships. Coaches Nenad Tatic and Daniel Ressa accompanied the team.
Emma Labrador, the President of Gibraltar Volleyball, commented on this historic moment in Gibraltar Volleyball History, stating, "Too exciting not to share! For the first time in history, Gibraltar is sending a team to an FIVB beach volleyball tournament - Mathew Ressa and Liam Neish will proudly wear our colors. This marks a monumental step in the right direction!"
Gibraltar Volleyball players also participated in an exciting CEV School Project in Bulgaria. Labrador remarked, "In a remarkable cross-border initiative, Gibraltar’s promising volleyball players traveled to Bulgaria as part of a CEV school project. This initiative aims to equip Gibraltar’s players with advanced skills and knowledge that they can later share with their fellow athletes back home. This program promises to be a transformative experience for both the participants and the volleyball community in Gibraltar."
The weekend also served as an opportunity for the association to pay tribute to a "Volleyball Legend." Officials expressed, "This weekend, players came together not only for the love of the game but to honor the memory of a remarkable player, Max Santos. This weekend’s tournament was not just about spikes and serves but about the spirit and joy of competition and the cherished memories we shared with our friend."
They continued, "Starting this year, this tournament will be a fixture on our calendar - a time to remember, compete, and keep Max’s spirit alive through the sport he cherished. Players and family members gathered to unveil a plaque that will forever honor the cherished memory of a life that touched us all."
Here are the tournament results:
1st place: Liam Neish and Mathew Ressa
2nd place: Cesar Bougerol and Antonio Jesus Iglesias Patrón
3rd place: Matthew Stevenson and Theo Nuñez
Best Girls team: Ella Day and Noeli Nouar