Date: 16. August 2022
Time to read: 3 min
For the first time, Slovenia will co-host the Volleyball Men’s World Championship, which is to take place between 26 August and 11 September. On the occasion of this unique opportunity to increase Slovenia’s global visibility as a green destination for top sporting events, the Volleyball Federation of Slovenia, the Government Communication Office (UKOM) and the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) are preparing numerous promotional and accompanying activities.
These will address more than 2.3 billion volleyball fans all over the world and showcase Slovenia as an excellent destination for active outdoor holidays, one of the best organisers of large sporting events in the world, and a country which is becoming increasingly popular in the context of sports preparations as well.
The oldest and most elite volleyball competition in the world will be hosted by Slovenia and Poland this year. As an exceptional host of top volleyball competitions, Slovenia has proven itself several times at a high organisational and sports level, especially during the latest European championship in 2019 when congratulations for excellent organisation came from foreign national teams and the media and, what is more, when our national team won the silver medal.
The top-level sports event will be utilised for a comprehensive promotion of the "I feel Slovenia" brand and Slovenia as an exquisite destination for large international sports competitions and preparations of athletes.
By means of an intensive digital campaign on the STO social media, Feel Slovenia, which combined have more than 1.5 million followers, the STO will maintain the positioning of the co-host Slovenia as a sustainable destination with diverse active experiences. This summer, the STO launched the first sports and tourist platform, Sports fans of Slovenia, which connects national and international fans of top Slovenian athletes for the largest sporting events and includes a promotion of active experiences of various recreational sports in Slovenia. The fans can choose from virtual cheering props in GIF collections on Instagram and special filters for Instagram Stories, which you can find under the key phrase, Fans of Slovenia.
How well do Slovenian volleyball players know Slovenia?
Jan Kozamernik and Rok Možič, who are eagerly awaiting the excitement of this year’s national team performance, are among the leading participants in the championship taking place in Slovenia. To promote Slovenia as a tourist destination at the coming world championship, the STO prepared a special video quiz, which is published on the YouTube channel, about Slovenia together with Kozamernik, who was selected the best middle blocker at the 2019 European Championship, and Možič, who is considered one of the most promising young volleyball players in the world.
In a fun interview, top Slovenian volleyball players reply to unusual questions about Slovenia and its attractions such as: how many volleyball fields could fit into Škocjan Caves, one of the largest cave systems in the world? Which is the highest mountain in Slovenia that Rok Možič has climbed? In the video, they also reveal which was their favourite win with the volleyball national team so far.
The opportunity posed by the championship will be used by the UKOM to start a multi-year promotional campaign presenting Slovenia as a country of top athletes who are the result of investment in young people through physical education and the promotion of exercise, the SLOfit programme of systematic monitoring of physical and motor development of children and adolescents, recreational programmes and the European Sports Model presented by Slovenia during its Presidency of the EU Council last year.
A promotional 30-second video will be shown at the start of the broadcasts of all matches played in Slovenia. Longer versions will be used for the promotion on social media of Slovenia as a country which systematically invests in sports and subsequently yields results at the top-level of sport.
In cooperation with the Faculty of Sport and the Volleyball Federation of Slovenia (OZS), the UKOM will organise SLOfit performance tests (and the production of a sports profile) at the fan zone in Stožice before the matches on Sunday, 28 August.
The testing will be done by the representatives of the Faculty of Sport. There will also be various sports games and the visitors will be able to see a show of the Fuskabo Circus and test their circus skills.
In cooperation with the OZS, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, and the STO, the UKOM will organise a study visit for media representatives during which they will learn about Slovenian sports venues, the SLOfit programme as the upgrade of the national monitoring system of physical and motor development of children and adolescents, and other interesting attractions.
Spectacle on the Ljubljanica River and Maribor will be part of the volleyball action, too
To start the Volleyball Men’s World Championship, a unique volleyball spectacle will be organised on the Ljubljanica River that was first held three years ago at EuroVolley. On Tuesday evening, 16 August, a match between volleyball stars will take place on a floating court in the middle of the Ljubljanica.
The fans and spectators will be able to watch this special edition of a volleyball match from the embankments. The playing surface will be bordered with luminous lines to mark the court. The beautiful evening atmosphere will give the spectators the feeling that they are watching the players hover just above the water’s surface. This is a unique variation on a volleyball court and one which Ljubljana was the first in the world to use three years ago. This innovation received an exceptional response from the world’s media and social network users.
In the group stage, we will see 16 of the 24 top national teams, and matches of the round of 16 and two quarter-final matches will be played in Slovenia. Outside the Stožice Arena, a fan zone will be organised where fans from 16 countries, i.e. Slovenia, Brazil, Cuba, Japan, Qatar, France, Cameroon, Turkey, China, the Netherlands, Egypt, Argentina, Germany, Iran, Italy and Canada will be able to gather and socialise before every match.
The opening match of the world championship will be held in Stožice, where the national teams of Cuba and Brazil will play against each other. Both are high in the rankings of the best volleyball teams in the world. Slovenia, the current European runners-up, will play their first game of the championship against Cameroon. On 28 August, the team will go up against France, the current Olympic champions, and face Germany on 30 August. The matches, especially the one with France, are a great launching pad for the promotion of Slovenia, as both national teams are aiming high in the championship.
A preparatory tournament of three national teams, including Slovenia, will be held at the renovated Tabor Hall in Maribor between 19 and 21 August.
Maribor will thus be one of the central venues of the championship. The Slovenian volleyball players are thrilled to be able to welcome their rivals before their national fans, who will certainly contribute to their excellent performance by generating some white-hot enthusiastic support during the championship.
Slovenia has exceptional potential for holding large international events
This year’s edition of the Volleyball Men’s World Championship marks a major milestone: this will be the 20th championship of what is considered to be the most prestigious volleyball competition in the world. The trust shown by the International Volleyball Federation in inviting Slovenia to be the co-host is a great acknowledgement and a tremendous opportunity for Slovenia’s promotion as a sustainable and sports destination that successfully combines green tourism with sport to facilitate economic and social development. In the short- and long-term, large sporting events generate numerous new possibilities to promote the country and its economy. What is more, they connect the international community and encourage young people to choose a healthy and active way of life. By co-hosting the world volleyball championship, Slovenia has been given a golden opportunity to show the world the diversity of its natural attractions, the uniqueness of its experiences, and its traditional and social dedication to sport as one of the most important values of Slovenian society.