Volleyball was included for the first time in the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. Volleyball has since become one of the leading and most innovative team sports at the Olympic Games with beach volleyball introduced in 1996 and memorably staged on Bondi Beach at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games where Australia won gold.
Japan has won 3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals across men and women Volleyball and Australia has won a bronze and a gold in women’s beach volleyball at the Olympic Games. Both nations have strong prospects in Tokyo 2020. To advance bilateral relations and to enhance the growth of the sport in Asia, JVA President Kenji Kimura and VA President Craig Carracher met in Tokyo last week to develop an MOU between the two national federations.
“We discussed many matters with President Kimura and his team at the JVA Offices. We are now considering enhanced bilateral exchanges between our national senior teams and importantly the development of our youth teams. This week our Under 19s National Squad trained in Tokyo with the Japanese national junior teams at the Japan Olympic Committee National Training Centre. The Centre is technologically advanced and confirmed how far technology and dedicated world class facilities can carry the advancements in sports biometrics and analytics. An area where Australia traditionally was a leader and must now reinvest” said Carracher.
“Japan has been a leading nation in world volleyball and continues to be one of the most important markets for the sport. Japanese broadcast partners, equipment and clothing sponsors contribute enormously to world volleyball and our relationship with Japan could not be closer at this time”, said Carracher.
Areas for further consideration between Japan and Australia will include:
President Kimura also raised the potential for snow volleyball to be enhanced across Asia with the 5 resorts in Australia and the established snowsports tourism opportunities in Japan.
Volleyball Australia and Japan Volleyball will continue their engagement with meetings on beach volleyball at the Asian Volleyball Confederation Offices in Bangkok in February and in Lausanne at the FIVB meetings later in February.
[Pictured, Craig Carracher, President Volleyball Australia (centre) and President Kenji Kimura (left of Carracher) and the JVA senior executive]