Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GVK in Danish-Swedish Initiative

This year, a new volleyball league has formed, called Öresundsliga.

The league, includes Gislaved together with Swedish elitserien teams Engelholm and Svedala, as well as the Danish first-league teams Holte, Amager and Brøndby. The six teams will meet in two matches (one home and one away) and the winner of the league will take home the championship.

"There is little difference than the national leagues except that we get to meet some new players. Denmark has really good teams so it is beneficial for all of us, and it gives it a little something special to the season," say GVK's sports director Lars Englund.

Setting the tone, or the catalysts was Fredrik Tågsjö, sporting director in Engelholm.

"There has been a previous collaboration between the Danish and Swedish clubs in the past where Gislaved not participated, but there has been little loose foundation."

"We quickly decided on six clubs. Hylte/Halmstad turned down the invitation early, then it was natural for us to ask Gislaved [with their proximity]. Everyone wanted to have more matches on the season without too much sacrifice [regarding travel and expenses]."

The leagues designed so that matches between the Swedish teams will be those set from the Swedish elitserien regular scheduled meetings between the teams. Wins and loses will be included in both the Elitserien and the Öresundsliga.

In the current situation, it is no business gain with the formation of the new league. Perhaps in the future.

"Hopefully it does not cost us much. We believe that in the long term, we have created a product to they can provide revenue back. We have not had time to get their claws into this but we have seen that it existed in our economic margins. The goal is to get a following from the towns and within the region the first year and build the support."

For Gislaved, who already has a tough time with money, it can be tough. But Englund believes in it.

"It's an alternative source that can give us new results. We are working hard on our sponsors and hope to get some more interest when you present something like this.We hope to gain interest from the tourist industry and plan to discuss more with them, since we do not know how the municipality agrees to help with possible contributions," says Englund.

But there are still three fairly expensive trips to Denmark in addition to what you already have. How are you going there?
"Economically it is tough but we are not traveling with a large staff. It will be the cheapest possible with sponsored minibuses."

The trips require the players to take time off from their jobs well.

"There will be some Friday evenings lost. When we play matches in Denmark at 19:00 then we go at lunchtime. Players do not have a replacement financially for lost earnings. So there will be some sacrifices but we hope that the adventure trumps it."

They hope, as I said, for sponsors but also plan to host events that will generate revenue for the club.

"Now we have the opportunity to apply for the U16 Championship and the U18 Championship. We hope that we get approved and contact the municipality for possible schedules that are available to host the tournament. It is there we hope we can get a little money."

All in all, however, the Öresundsliga is something positive for GVK, according to Englund and Tågsjö.

"This will be little interest in raising the public awareness and bait in the sponsors, while drawing a bit more interest to girls and boys that play," says Englund.

"Everyone is favorable to more matches and more exposure for the sport. There is nothing in this that is negative!"

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