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giba

Olympic medallist calls on London Mayor to save Earls Court

Brazilian volleyball player and Olympic medal winner Giba has made a passionate call to action for Londoners and Mayor Khan to help bring volleyball back to Earl’s Court in London.

The 42-year-old Brazilian volleyball superstar, whose full name is Gilberto Amauri de Godoy Filho, has come out of retirement to sign for leading English team IBB Polonia London.

Giba played in the top of the table Volleyball England Super League clash against Sheffield Hallam on 14 April at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

Before the match, he was filmed by the Save Earl’s Court campaign making a passionate plea to Londoners and Mayor Khan to help bring back volleyball to Earls Court. Londoners were promised an Olympic Legacy at Earl’s Court, instead the iconic venue has been demolished for luxury flats and works by the joint venture between Capital & Counties Properties Plc and Transport for London on the site has stalled. Mayor Khan is Chair of Transport for London. All that remains is a wasteland.

Giba said: “I have three Olympic medals. Gold in 2004, silver in 2008 and here in London, in 2012 where I played my last match, I leave the national team.

“But the more important thing, I am here now to ask for you guys here in London, the court where I played, Earl’s Court, does not exist anymore and the land is empty.

“In this place we can do many kind of great things for volleyball – beach volleyball, indoor volleyball and now we have also this snow volleyball! OK? And I am here to give my support to volleyball coming back to London. I am here in London this week to play with IBB Polonia volleyball and show how much the people here in England love volleyball.

“Please, Mayor, give back our court and I give all the support for the local people to help them! Help them to take back our place, our home, our volleyball home here in London.”

Photo credit: Steve Smith