After a one-year hiatus, one of Cayman’s longest running international sports tournaments returns to Seven Mile Beach.
On Tuesday (22 January) the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation (CIVF) announced the 2019 North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Beach Volleyball Tour is headed to Cayman’s Public Beach 26-28 April.
“I’m excited,” said national player Richard Campbell. “This is my first NORCECA in Cayman in 5 years, so I’m extra excited. It’s the biggest and best tournament on the tour with the top beach volleyball players from around the region, making it the model example of how to host one.”
In 2018, the CIVF struggled to gain finances in order to host the event for a tenth straight year, leading to it’s cancellation.
On the 2018 tour, Cayman played to mixed results in a combined four of six tournaments. In the sixth and final tour stop held in Martinique, the lone team of Campbell and Casey Santamaria placed 12th overall. Earlier in the year, Santamaria and Jesse Parnham placed a Cayman best 14th of out 20 in the third tour stop held in Varadero, Cuba.
“It’s great exposure for the sport in Cayman, and I would love the opportunity to play again,” said Santamaria.
Also in Varadero, Cayman’s team of Ileann Powery and Stefania Gandolfi placed a women’s best 13th out of 17 teams.
“I think the return of NORCECA is a plus for the local volleyball players as well as the visiting players and the entire community,” said Powery. “Local players get to showcase their skills and efforts to the Cayman audience, as well, the tournament is a great tourism booster.”
The NORCECA Volleyball Confederation includes 35 member countries at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) level.
XVIII Islands Games national team selection
CIVF is also set to launch a 16-team four-round doubles tournament starting 24th February to determine player rankings for both Cayman’s men’s and women’s national teams. The tournament will determine who will represent Cayman at this year’s NatWest Islands Games held 6-12 July in Gibraltar.
In a press release sent 15 January, CIVF Technical Director said “It is great to see the growing number of young people playing volleyball. I am also excited by the progress we are seeing in the development of the youth players who have been consistently training since we launched the youth programme just two years ago.”