The Volleyball House on Copacabana Beach saw itself get transformed once again to welcome the building’s regular occupants - the students of the Cicero Penna School, who have been the immediate beneficiaries of the legacy left behind by the FIVB.
The FIVB and Rio’s Department of Education reached an agreement to allow the FIVB to hire the school during Rio 2016 and use it as Volleyball House, a home away from home for players, coaches, former athletes, the FIVB and its members, fellow sports federations and business and sponsorship partners. During the Games, Volleyball House, opened at the same day as the official Games’ Opening Ceremony, received over 3,000 visitors and won the “Rio 2016 Hospitality House” award in the Legacy category given by Rio de Janeiro Chamber of Commerce.
Almost 600 children returned to the school just a week after the closing of the Olympic Games, which was refurbished by the FIVB to leave a social legacy for Rio. Ana Maria dos Prazeres, Director of the Cicero Penna school said the story of the school had begun with a legacy in itself as the house was the place of paediatrician Cicero Penna, who donated it to the government to host a care centre.
The idea of the Volleyball House was to have a place where they could welcome the volleyball community, leverage business and promote their events. But that was not enough for FIVB and they wanted to go beyond.
The Volleyball House fulfilled another role, to spread our philosophy: to make volleyball the number one family sport entertainment in the world. So there was nothing better than to choose a school where the children could participate in the process and, ultimately, benefit from a completely renovated and more inviting college for the daily study of 600 students.
Dr. Ary S. Graça F°, FIVB President
Students now attend the school knowing that their school welcomed some of volleyball’s top players and personalities in one of the most successful social initiatives at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The classrooms were used by FIVB as meeting rooms, viewing rooms (for both indoor and beach volleyball), working rooms and virtual reality rooms.
A handful of lucky students were at the Volleyball House during the Games. Two students attended the opening day, with several more on hand at the FIVB Athletes’ Commission announcement. Luiza, one of the students who visited the Volleyball House, said she was thrilled to see her drawing on a panel on the third floor.
I was with my mother looking at the pictures when I saw that mine had been chosen to be displayed. I showed my Mum and she did not believe it until she saw my signature.
Luiza, Student at the Cicero Penna school
The kind gesture by the FIVB resulted in a refurbished elementary school, Cicero Penna School, leaving a legacy for the school children. New electrics and plumbing was put in place, along with a new fire prevention system. Classrooms, kitchens and sanitary facilities were upgraded and the interior of the whole building was repainted. The additions also included the installation of wireless internet, a new fence and also over 3,000 Reals ($900) of new books. The school's students are also able to use the volleyball courts that were built across the road on the beach. These were a popular draw for former players and spectators during Rio 2016.