SASKATOON, SK - February 5, 2015 - Saskatoon has been selected as the host city for Canada's FIVB Men's World League home weekend June 24 to 26, 2016. The city's SaskTel Centre will be the site of the first international volleyball played in the province in more than a decade.
The World League matches will be a part of an action-packed week of volleyball activities, including Volleyball Canada's AGM and Hall of Fame induction, Sask Volleyball Provincial Training, and other special events to be announced.
"World League will be an amazing experience for our province to watch our National Team, including Saskatoon's own Gavin Schmitt, play at home," said Sask Volleyball Executive Director Aaron Demyen. "We thank Volleyball Canada for this opportunity and look forward to brining the entire volleyball community together to play, celebrate, and inspire."
Volleyball Canada's Director of International Events, Alan Ahac, is excited to bring World League to Saskatchewan. "We are confident that the local organizing group will do an excellent job, and there should be some exciting matches next June," he said.
"Saskatoon Sports Tourism is excited to welcome some of the best men's volleyball teams in the worl to our city," said Heather Bury, Sport and Event Sales Executive for Saskatoon Sports Tourism. "Volleyball has always been very popular locally, and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to see some high-caliber competition from these teams. We can't wait to welcome international volleyball fans to Saskatoon."
Saskatoon's own Gavin Schmitt is a key contributor to Team Canada as the men work toward the 2016 Rio Olympics (qualification yet to be determined).
"I am overjoyed to hear the news that World League will be coming to Saskatoon next June. This is a rare opportunity to expose the province of Saskatchewan to international volleyball," said Schmitt, who is considered one of the top outside hitters in the world. "It also grants me the opportunity to play in front of my family and many friends who have supported me through my career. I know Saskatoon will do a great job hosting this event, and expect a lot of seats filled and support coming from all over Saskatchewan, as it always does for events like this. I hope to see everyone out at SaskTel Centre, putting the green and white aside, and donning some red and white!"
Canada will compete in Group 2 in a first round pool against China, Korea and Portugal. All four countries will host one weekend of round robin matches to determine the top team to advance out of the pool. The Canadian team roster will be announced in 2016, typically just before the tournament.
Canada will be the highest ranked team in Saskatoon, currently at 10th in the world. The 2016 FIVB Men's World League will be the 27th edition of the annual men's international volleyball tournament. See www.fivb.org for more information on the competition format.
The World League Saskatoon match schedule, ticketing and broadcast information will be released in the coming months.
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Aaron Demyen, Executive Director
Volleyball Canada Media Contact:
Jackie Skender, Communications