Africa: Moroccan Bouchra Vows to Transform African Volleyball

Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) presidential aspirant Bouchra Hajij says her appointment to the International Olympic Committee's Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission is a plus for the sport.

Bouchra, who is also the president of the Royal Moroccan Volleyball Federation and FIVB Executive Vice President, is looking to unseat long-serving Egyptian Amr El Wany in the CAVB polls slated for September this year.

The elections were initially planned for June but were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic which had grounded sports activities to a halt all over the world.

Speaking to Nation Sport on phone from Morocco on Thursday, Bouchra welcomed the appointment and promised to use the knowledge gathered to improve the standards of volleyball in Africa which have stagnated for the past two decades.

GOOD GOVERNANCE

"It's a good opportunity for African women in sport and generally for Africa as a continent. I'm proud to be associated with organisations such as IOC and FIVB where good governance is key.

"The biggest problem in African sports in management and this is a chance to learn from a top organization. I'm looking forward to developing management skills, learn about good governance and best practices to improve our game," said the former Morocco national team player.

"We have to uphold transparency and democracy in our operations at CAVB. The various zones also need to be involved so that all member federations benefit from CAVB support," noted Bouchra.

Kenya will be Africa's sole representative at the Tokyo Olympics which were moved to July next year and Bouchra is keen on pushing volleyball up the global ranking of elite Olympics disciplines.

BEST PREPARATION

"My dream is to ensure CAVB supports Africa's representatives to international competitions so that they get the best preparations.

"We have amazing talent here in Africa but we don't prepare well for major tournaments which affects our performance," said Bouchra.

"I will do my best to place volleyball in high position in line with the mission of FIVB because we did very well in terms of viewership and fan base during the Rio Olympics.

"The tickets for volleyball events were sold out and I believe volleyball can be as popular as track and field with the right people in leadership," she added. The composition of these committees is marked by an increase in proportion of women this year with 47.7 percent of positions in the 30 committees now occupied by women up from 45.4 percent last year.

Besides Bouchra, Morocco's athletics legend Hicham El Guerrouj was also appointed member of IOC's Athletes' Entourage Commission last Thursday.

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