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Spiking into schools: Volleyball Federation aims for greater youth participation

The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation (CIVF) continued it’s youth clinic this past Saturday (19 May) with approximately 15 players in attendance. Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Developmental Coordinator Trevor Theroulde, who led the session says there simply needs to be more players in order to see success internationally.

“One of the things they realized, is they have no have sustainable growth. We need to develop our youth and develop new young players.”

CIVF’s weekly youth clinics are just one year old, and Theroulde says the program will take it’s biggest steps once it reaches a broader audience.

“Right now the emphasis is getting into the schools. Getting the kids involved, making it fun for them, and in the same process teaching them the skills of the game. We want it to be fun, but at the same time learn certain skills, so they’ll continue to play the game.”

There’s only one problem: the Youth Clinic is just once a week for two hours. In addition, volleyball isn’t one of government’s six focus sports, shrinking funding and opportunities for aspiring players like 11-year old Savannah Primary student Lexijoi Ebanks-Garcia.

“I went to First Baptist last year, we did volleyball and indoor volleyball. We got to play for three weeks.”

 

One school that is integrates volleyball extensively is Cayman International School (CIS). Shaun Schaller, a teacher and Cayman Islands national beach player says his involvement along with other faculty members, has helped raise interest.

We have a large community at the school of teachers in the school that are out at the beach playing. We have student teacher games, and really just trying to get as many people as we can get involved.”

But can a sport that requires more than just running and jumping catch on with younger generation of players? Schaller says Physical Education teachers can easily modify rules and equipment to create an engaging volleyball experience.

“We lower the net and we create scenarios where they try and get three hits, and their communicating. They’re calling the ball, they’re moving. For it even those basics, trying to know where your body is relative to the other players.”

In the meantime, CIVF will continue its youth clinic every Saturday from 8:00am-10:00am, waiting patiently for young athletes to give volleyball a chance.

About the author

Jordan Armenise

Jordan Armenise

From Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Jordan Armenise began his sports broadcasting journey with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. It was in this role where he was able to merge his best attributes: sports knowledge and personality. While with the Ticats, Jordan provided live analysis and interviews while developing a digital portfolio of one-on-one interviews, episodic sports comedy and full length sports & news features. He has also worked with CBC Sports for Hockey Night in Canada, the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Special Olympics as well as roles with Cineflix and Cream Productions as an Assistant Director.

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