Thai fans cheer for their team at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals in Bangkok
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 14, 2016 - The overwhelming success of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals in Bangkok last week, which was enjoyed by millions of fans of all ages around the world, highlighted the rapid development and growing popularity of volleyball in Thailand.
The 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals, won by Brazil for a record 11th time, attracted families and fans of all ages coming to watch the sport in a country which is very passionate about volleyball and was indicative of the FIVB’s vision to become the number one family sport entertainment in the world.
As well as a packed out stadium, fans also had the opportunity to watch the matches live on LED screens located in different areas of Bangkok as the FIVB looks to inspire and entertain fans by making volleyball events accessible to all. Last week, the FIVB signed a four-year deal with BEC World Public Company Limited for exclusive broadcast in Thailand and now millions of fans will continue to have access to FIVB events in the country.
In Thailand, the sport has come a long way in a short space of time. This success is a testament to the work of the Thailand Volleyball Association in educating its national audience, in addition to the work of the FIVB in helping to spread volleyball around the world, engaging and inspiring fans of all ages.
The Thailand Volleyball Association was founded in 1959 but during the following 24 years only one National Championships was organised. The national teams only participated in international competitions every two years at the South East Asian Peninsula Games and Asian Games.
In 1984, the new Board of Administration started to run the Association and since then the great development of volleyball in the country began.
Apart from organising the National Senior and Junior Championships and Professional League competitions, the Association developed a grassroots programme for the sustainable development of the sport to make volleyball one of the most popular sports in Thailand. Four Underage Championships (U12, U14, U16, and U18) have been organised to encourage young generations to start playing volleyball from an early age.
These Championships are organised all over Thailand in six different zones of the country with the finals being hosted in different cities every year. The Grassroots Championships are held during the whole year so volleyball is being covered in the media almost every day making the sport one of the most popular in Thailand and encouraging volleyball teams and players to keep improving their skills both in volleyball and beach volleyball.
The Thailand Volleyball Association has also provided teams with the opportunities to take part in both Zonal and Continental Championships since 1984. The results of the Thai teams have improved year by year with men and women teams winning medals at different competitions including the FIVB Volley Masters, Summer Universiades, Asian Games and Asian Championships.
Today, the Thailand Volleyball Association organises international competitions in both volleyball and beach volleyball in Thailand every year and has secured a number of official sponsors and TV partners for all the Championships. The positive momentum continues and both volleyball and beach volleyball look set to flourish in the country for many years to come.