Net gains as all flock to beach

The recent international volleyball Cayman hosted as given the sport a lot of impetus here.

The Sunday league runs every week now on Public Beach and players are trying to reach a higher level of play, inspired by all the great athletes they witnessed here last month.

Cayman were represented by the men’s team of Shervin Rankin and Olney ‘OT Thompson who came eighth in the NORCECA tournament and Wanda Brenton and Jennifer Bily in the women’s team who came a commendable fifth in their first tournament.

Were the women happy with how well they did? Brenton said: ‘Definitely satisfied, for sure. I’m feeling a little refreshed at the moment but the first couple of days after were a little rough. We were just not used to playing so much and being out in the sun for so long.

‘I know there’s a NORCECA event in the Dominican Republic next week. The boys are going but we’re going to try hard to go to the Mexico tournament later.’

Canadian Brenton is a bookkeeper at the Brick House restaurant in Grand Harbour and Bily is a fitness instructor.

‘Normally those tournaments run from Friday so we’d have to leave on the Wednesday and try to get some training in the day before,’ Brenton said.

Her husband Carl is head of the beach volleyball federation. Wanda said: ‘When Carl and I moved here five years ago there was a total of 12 teams. It’s gradually got bigger each year and now there are 30.

‘That’s unbelievable. Too bad we didn’t have more beach. Everybody had so much fun at the tournament and now wants to play volleyball.’

Carl said: ‘All these teams signed up before the tournament but I’m getting so many calls and emails from people who want to play. It’s crazy right now, we’re running out of beach.

‘Our kids’ programme starts on Saturdays in a couple of weeks. It’s really growing. We’ve got six new, nice and easy to set up nets, got a trailer to hold all our gear, stereo system… it’s finally become professional.