27th NORCECA Congress Opens in Punta Cana

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic, July 6, 2024.- The first day of sessions of 27th NORCECA Congress brought together the 41 affiliated National Volleyball Federations from North, Central America, and the Caribbean. The NORCECA Congress sets the stage for shaping the future of volleyball in the region, encompassing both volleyball and beach volleyball disciplines.

Cristóbal Marte Hoffiz, NORCECA President, opened the congress by reflecting on the progress made over the past two years and setting the vision for the future. “We are not just celebrating the sport; we are celebrating the community, the unity, and the unwavering spirit that volleyball embodies in our region”, he stated. Hoffiz emphasized the importance of continued development and innovation to elevate the sport’s status and reach within member nations.

Lic Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, NORCECA President

In a compelling address, Dr. Ary Graça, FIVB President, highlighted the global perspective and the critical role of regional bodies like NORCECA. “The growth and success of volleyball in our regions contribute to the sport’s global impact. NORCECA’s achievements are integral to the FIVB’s mission to make volleyball the number one family sport in the world”, said Graça. He praised the collaborative efforts within NORCECA and stressed the importance of programs like Volleyball Empowerment in fostering talent at all levels.

Dr. Ary Graça, FIVB President

Also addressing the NORCECA Congress was Luis Mejía Oviedo, President of Caribe Sports, Garibaldy Bautista, President of the Dominican Republic Olympic Committee, and Ramón A. García, President of the Dominican Republic Volleyball Federation, welcomed delegates and highlighted the host nation’s commitment to volleyball.

The congress reviewed the comprehensive NORCECA Volleyball Confederation 2023 Report, detailing the organization’s activities, covering the regional, continental, intercontinental, international competitions, development and events that were organized in accordance with the FIVB regulations and with NORCECA’s staff and technical support personnel.

During these years, NORCECA began to recover the seriousness of its volleyball and beach volleyball competitions in our continent, registering an increase in its development and promotion, which had an impact by establishing the necessary conditions to ensure the future of our sport in the continent.

Reports from NORCECA working commissions were presented (available on the NORCECA website). These commissions have been instrumental in driving forward initiatives that align with NORCECA’s strategic goals. Discussions emphasized the need for innovative approaches to enhance the sport’s appeal and accessibility.

The press and mass media commission was renamed after Roosevelt Comarazamy who passed away in November 2022, honoring his memory. Roosevelt Comarazamy was one of the best sports journalists of the Dominican Republic and a member of our family, respected in volleyball worldwide, and successfully fulfilled his duties as NORCECA Press Officer for several years.

The Volleyball Regional Development Center activities were another focal point, showcasing their key role in training athletes, coaches, and referees. The Development Center in Dominican Republic has  become a hub of excellence, providing high-quality resources and training opportunities that are crucial for the development of volleyball in the region.

The 2024-2025 NORCECA Program was also presented, laying out the calendars for volleyball and beach volleyball competitions.

The final presentations of the day were an overview of the FIVB Volleyball Empowerment Program and the FIVB Volleyball Foundation.

The Volleyball Empowerment program was also included in the development commission report, detailing the investment throughout the Zonal Associations that conform NORCECA.

Benefits of Volleyball Empowerment are access to human resources (coaches and entourage), structure and equipment, young athletes’ management, and it contributes for National Federations to be self-sustainable.

The Volleyball Foundation was launched recently, this is a new initiative focused on using the global reach and power of volleyball to support community projects worldwide that have a positive impact.

The 27th NORCECA Congress resumes on Sunday with General Elections for the 2024-2028 period, among other matters.