The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation (CIVF) has added Brazilian coach Pitter Rosa to its staff as development at both the junior and senior level continues in both its indoor and outdoor programmes.
Rosa, 33, arrives through the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Development Programme for three months. Having started in July, the CIVF hope Rosa can continue stoking interest much like visiting coach Canadian Rick Bevis did in the first half of 2019. Rosa says he is excited by the opportunity.
“I came to help structured the team, as well as with the technical part,” said Rosa. “I’ve been working in the sport for awhile as a beach volleyball coach. I’ve worked in high level indoor leagues as well.”
The 33-year-old began playing in Brazil at nine years of age, starting with indoor until moving onto the sand at the age of 13. He then played with the Brazil national team programme from the age of 15 until his early twenties. Rosa then transitioned into coaching, starting as an assistant coach with Brazilian club teams with some of the country’s top players.
He hopes to simply get more people playing the sport, no matter what the skill level.
“I think volleyball here is trying to grow,” said Rosa. “Open tournaments allow everyone to play. There is no skill level. People have fun, and eventually more kids come and hope to learn about the sport. We have a beautiful beach here, so there is no reason people shouldn’t want to come. We just have to find more players to come play, and we will develop them, and start to build the sport from the ground up.”
This past weekend’s ‘King and Queen of the Court’ drew 15 male and nine female players.
After assembling their first youth national teams in April in hopes of competing in the Under-18 and Under-19 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Championships in Jamaica 21-28 July, Ali says the CIVF shifted it’s approach to focus on long term development, while aiming to send their national teams to tournaments that are both smaller and closer to home, with the payoff coming in two years time.
“That programme came about within a few months, which is tough to do in a first place,” said Ali. “We had some really good responses, and last week we had our last national youth practice. We are starting back fresh at John Gray with open gym sessions, and once we have the numbers we can start to select different skill levels and train accordingly.”
“We are supposed to be hosting an Under-20 and Under-21 tournament in 2021,” said Ali. “The goal is to start developing them now. We also want to send them to youth tournaments to Florida, and get some of them to the beach as well.”
Both Rosa and Ali hope those same youth volleyball hopefuls will follow suit at the CIVF’s ‘Youth Open Gym’ Tuesday and Thursday nights for players ages 12 to 18 at the John Gray Gymnasium between 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The CIVF will also host an indoor co-ed tournament this Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The co-ed tournament has already drawn 11 teams with a cap of ten players each thus far.
As with most amateurs athletes in Cayman, Rosa says the biggest hurdle for the CIVF are the responsibilities of a professional life outside of sport. However, he says with the collaboration of the federation, they will continue to provide enough options to keep players coming back to the court with continuous improving.
“I’ve learned a lot from the guys here,” said Rosa. “Most guys here are working, it’s quite tough, but we’ve made a lot of progress. We are talking a lot on how we as players and coaches can development a programme and practice in their spare time as much as they can.”
King of the Court Top Three:
Queen of the Court Top Three: