Ekaterina Gamova receives the MVP award at the 2014 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship
Zurich, Switzerland, May 4, 2015 - Last year's FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship MVP award went to Dinamo Kazan's Russian star Ekaterina Gamova, but Brazil has dominated the awards, claiming four of the competition's eight MVP titles to date.
Ana Margarida Alvares (“Ida”) was the first to receive the award in 1991, followed by Ana Flavia Sanglard (1992) and Ana Moser (1994). All three secured their place in Brazilian volleyball history and won Olympic bronze together in Atlanta in 1996, and still play a role in Brazilian sport today.
Ida is involved in research on sport and cities and Ana Flavia is an agent and works with many of her country's top volleyball players.
Ana Moser has launched a programme called the Instituto Esporte & Educacao (Sport and Education Institute), which helps makes volleyball and sport more accessible to children. Over 10,000 children benefit from the programme every year.
"I enjoy working for the common good. After all my years playing volleyball, I would now like to give something back," said the former world-class hitter.
The last Brazilian to win the MVP award was Sheilla Castro - in 2012. Castro has missed out on this year’s event, however, after her club Vakifbank Istanbul lost to city rivals Eczacibasi Istanbul in the European Champions League semifinals.
Former Volero Zurich player Natasa Osmokrovic has now retired, but was named MVP at the 2011 edition of the Women’s Club World Championship, when she led Rabita Baku to glory. In recent years, the Azerbaijani team has also featured Poland’s Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata, who was named MVP in 2010, when Fenerbahce Istanbul triumphed at the Club World Championship. The outstanding hitter has just announced her return to the Polish national team and dreams of ending her career with a medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
In 2013, the MVP award at the Club World Championship went to Serbia’s Jovana Brakocevic, who was playing for Vakifbank Istanbul at the time. Brakocevic has also won European Championship, European League and European Champions League MVP awards, but recognises the full value of the award. "I was really happy and full of emotions that I can’t describe, but I am aware that in a team sport an individual award actually belongs to the whole team, as well as to all the staff and all the people who helped and supported me and worked with me to become a better player. I am grateful and can’t thank them enough," said Jovana.
And she never rests on her laurels: "The awards are important as long as you understand that they are just for that moment, that one game, that one competition. At the next event, you have to work twice as hard to prove that you deserved the awards you received earlier. But it’s also a good way to push you to be even better and motivate yourself to work harder!"
Last year's MVP award winner Ekaterina Gamova has also enjoyed her share of success. The 2.02m attacker is one of the tallest players around - she is also regarded as one of the best. A double world champion with Russia, Gamova scored a record 85 points in the 2014 event as she led Dinamo Kazan to their first Club World Championship title.
Gamova is also a very approachable star, who recognises her social commitments. She will no doubt welcome her successor to this elite club of MVP winners.