Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th September is the dates etched in the diaries of all involved, this is when the matches for IBB Polonia London will be played against the two goliaths of volleyball Trentino Itas and OK Vojvodina Novi Sad.
The matches will be a huge challenge for the British club, who knows that the opposition are truly world class. The club has an aim to present themselves as strongly as possible on court and will play as strongly as they are able. For this reason trainings have been particularly intense over the previous few weeks. Two stars that have signed for the club are Marcus Nilsson and Anestis Dalakouras, but at the last moment another huge name has made a surprise reinforcement; the National Team of Holland setter Gijs van Solkem. The twenty-two year old player has recently been playing in Germany as well as Holland and also with the Dutch National Team. He has significant international experience and has played Olympic qualification events.
“I am very happy to start this period with IBB Polonia London. It is a great opportunity to play some high level opponents! I am excited to see what our team is capable of. I don’t know much about the team yet, and this makes it a very exciting adventure, of which I will make the very best!” said Gijs van Solkema, IBB Polonia London setter.
Aside from the reinforcements to the squad, IBB Polonia London traditionally will be using a new design of kit for the upcoming season. The continuation of the Polish/British motif is exceptionally pleasing to the eye this season, and the concept is spectacular. The 2020/21 season is incorporating the „Enigma” code breaking machine on their match shirts. The name „Enigma” was given to the code breaking machine during the second world war during the „Ultra” project that was working on cracking the code being used by the Nazis. Three Polish mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki i Henryk Zygalski, working in Warsaw were the three pioneers of the code breaking project; their successes inspired Alan Turing, the well known cryptologist and mathematician to help to bring an end to the second world war. In 1939, the three Poles shared their discoveries and technical discoveries with British and French specialists. Thanks to the dedication and cooperation between the countries, the future of the conflict was changed for the benefit of the Allies. For IBB Polonia London, a club with Polish roots, which shows a close cooperation between Poland and Great Britain, this theme has been an important one for many years.
„I knew the shirt project was in the pipeline for some time now, but when I saw how amazing the shirts and shorts looked I was really impressed. Enigma is something I was taught about in English and Polish schools, but never imagined that I would be part of such significant commemorations. I am sure that the names proudly displayed would be happy to know that we would be commemorating their ground-breaking work one hundred years later. I am excited about being with the team in Trentino when we walk out onto the legendary court to face such giants of the sport. The shirt will help buoy the team to a memorable performance.” said Chris Hykiel, IBB Polonia London Director of Volleyball.
Apart from the historical elements on the shirt, IBB Polonia London display the logos of their partners IBB Builders Merchants who, for a number of years has supported the team and has worked on many long term goals.
“We are excited about the upcoming season. We have our fingers crossed for the team in the Champions League competition. We have longed for matches such as these for a long time and soon they will become reality! I am delighted that we are part of the team and together we are fulfilling our dreams and our plans. We must be mindful that we are building a club for future years, not just one season or one competition. IBB Polonia is gradually broadening its sporting, organisational and business plans. Each year we develop our sporting prowess and double our budget as well as increasing our media presence. We are also welcoming our portfolio of sponsors and we aim to keep the building sector close with us to help develop volleyball. I invite all volleyball fans to be part of the upcoming spectacle. Go IBB Polonia!” said main shareholder and owner of IBB Builders Merchants, Jacek Ambrozy.
In previous years IBB Polonia London has displayed the following motifs on the shirts:
- the 100th anniversary of the independence of Poland in 1918,
- the 100th anniversary of Polish and British airforces,
- the Silent Unseen
- the Polish Air Force and the Battle of Britain.
IBB Polonia London is the seven times Champion of England and multiple winners of the National Cup. In previous seasons the team has played in many international arenas; taking part in the CEV Champions League, CEV Cup and CEV Challenge Cup. They have played twice for the NEVZA Cup and won it in 2019.