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Tributes to Madiba ahead of big beach volleyball
- Updated: December 7, 2013
The FIVB City of Durban Beach Volleyball Open’s pre-tournament media conference on Friday was not the usual jolly occasion.
A sombre mood hung over the gathering as the South African nation mourned the passing of former President and international statesman, Mr Nelson Mandela.
Presiding over the conference Promoter Sunil Geness’s skilful handling of events paved the way for journalists and players (both local and international) to engage with the FIVB Technical Director, Mr.Dirk Decher from Switzerland and Promoter Geness on matters relating to the FIVB tournament.
As an ice breaker, Geness invited the international players to share their thoughts and reasons as to why they chose to participate in the Durban event.
Daniel Mullner┬á from Vienna, Austria said: ÔÇ£This is my first visit to the African continent and I am very excited to be here.
ÔÇ£It’s winter back home and our decision to come to Durban was made easy because of your beautiful weather and friendly people.ÔÇØ added Mullner.
Mullner’s beach volleyball partner, Joerg Wutzel added that the City of Durban event will give them the opportunity to gain more experience on the international circuit┬á as this will be the final event on the FIVB’s 2013 beach volleyball calendar.
South Africa’s number men’s seeds, Freedom Chiya and Grant Goldschmidt said that they excited that the global event is being staged in an African city and as the main draw participants they were looking forward to locking horns with the world’s best on their home turf.
Keynote speaker, Durban Mayor Comrade Councillor James Nxumalo began his address with the news of the sudden passing away of former President Nelson Mandela.
ÔÇ£We are saddened and shocked by the passing away of Nelson Mandela who was regarded as the icon of the South African people, an international statesman and an outstanding leader, said Mayor Nxumalo. The Mayor went on to say ÔÇ£the Ethekwini Municipality partnered with Volleyball South Africa and Geness Consulting in delivering a quality event that the world will be proud of.
To the visitors the Mayor Nxumalo said,ÔÇ£ Our’s is an African city, so enjoy what the city has to offer and I wish you well for the tournament.ÔÇØ
Representing Volleyball South Africa, Media Director Donovan Nair conveyed the National Federation’s deepest condolences to Mr.Mandela’s immediate and extended families, the African National Congress and ANC Mayor James Nxumalo.