(CMR) International beach volleyball competition returns to the Cayman Islands this year as the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation (CIVF) gets set to host one leg of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) U-23 Men & Women Beach Volleyball Tour.
Minister for Sports Hon. Bernie Bush and volleyball officials announced that the event would take place from 2 to 4 September and is the fourth stop on the tour. Some 32 teams from 16 countries are expected to travel to Cayman to compete in this tournament which CIVF is hosting for the first time.
The Federation has experience with staging international tournaments as it successfully hosted a stop in Cayman on the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour for 10 years, the most recent in 2019. Sports enthusiasts are excited about its return.
“I am elated to see international volleyball return to the Cayman Islands after a long hiatus because of COVID-19. I am even more encouraged to see the focus that CAZOVA has put on development by commissioning the first U23 beach circuit, knowing Caribbean countries have been asking for it for many years,” said Trevor Theroulde, Technical Director.
“This is an opportunity for Cayman’s young volleyball athletes to demonstrate their skills and abilities on the international stage and show the necessary growth in their games from point to point. I believe this U23 tournament could be the launching pad for something sustainable for the game here in Cayman,” he added.
Volleyball was named a ‘focus sport’ in 2020 by the Cayman Islands Government, which gave CIVF a financial boost of $125,000 above the original $25,000 allocated in the Ministry of Sports budget. With the additional funds, the Federation hopes to continue building the sport from the grassroots and attracting young Caymanians as well as position itself to produce elite junior and senior class players for international competitions.
“On behalf of the Cayman Islands Government and my Ministry, I congratulate the Volleyball Federation on its dedication, hard work and success in accomplishing the honor of attracting this international volleyball tournament to our Islands. I would like to wish our local teams good luck and encourage the public to come out and support our youth,” said Minister Bush.
“For players like myself that have been anticipating and getting excited about representing our country on the international stage and working hard behind the scenes for such a long time, we are thrilled to finally see youth representation in this sport, and we will do our best to bring pride to our country,” said 17-year-old CIVF Youth Ambassador Anjia Delapenha. She will compete with her 15-year-old sister and teammate, Brianna if they are selected for the Cayman team.
The CAZOVA U23 Men & Women Beach Volleyball Tournament will take place on Seven Mile Public Beach. General admission is free, but VIP and covered seating tickets will be available, the details of which will be announced later.