Serving up support

Like other sports volleyball is
making steps forward for 2010.

One of the things on its agenda is
spreading its popularity among locals and school children. Last week the
discipline made its latest move to that end.

The Cayman Islands Volleyball
Federation donated volleyballs and equipment (including playing nets) to Cayman Academy

On hand for the donation was
federation president Noel Williams, national team player Olney Thompson,
principle Nelda Drackett, Physical Education teacher Melbourne Williams and
volunteer coach Minett McCoy.

Some 15 students were also present,
eager to put the equipment to use. Among them was Dineah-Ashley Daigle, 11, who
is head girl for the school.

Thompson, with help from McCoy, led
some basic volleyball drills on the school’s outside court focusing on essentials
such as serving and returning.

As teacher Melbourne Williams
states the presence of the volleyball federation is well-received.

“It’s tremendous because the
interest is already there. I wish everyone could try to foster sports like
Noel. He’s ready to help in any way and this donation will really keep the kids

Some 30-40 kids are usually
involved in the school’s after-school program (which will feature volleyball on
Thursdays from 3:30-4:30pm).

 Adding to the significance of the gesture for
the Cayman Academy staff was it came from a former
student. Noel Williams attended the school some 30 years ago and has since had
his children pass through the school.

As Melbourne
states it is a blessing for Cayman

“I’ve been teaching here since 2004
and I wish I had more people like him involved with the Home School
Association. It’s a blessing to us and he’s always there for us.”

Cayman Academy is the
third school site to benefit from the assistance of the volleyball federation.
The local body already donated volleyball equipment to Cayman Prep and the
George Hicks campus.

As Noel Williams states it’s all
about getting the youngsters involved.

“I’m really excited because this is
where the growth and future of the sport will come from,” Williams said. “We’ve
spent more than CI$5000 in donations to the schools and we’ve had players from
the women’s and men’s national teams involved.

“In addition to Cayman Academy
there are two other programs going on at Prep on Tuesdays and the George Hicks
campus on Wednesdays. Curtis Richards and his Falcon volleyball club
co-ordinate those programs.

“We have around 200 kids involved
in total and our objective is to have volleyball in every school. From here
we’re going to Grace Christian Academy
and Wesleyan Christian
Academy in West Bay
and in the near future we’ll branch out to the Eastern districts.”

News of the school initiatives come
as indoor volleyball is being featured in the district volleyball leagues.

Taking place in West Bay and
East End, the leagues have been popular as the
young and old have come out in droves to participate since late January. Both
are slated to wrap up in the coming weeks.

Williams and the volleyball
federation are quite involved in those leagues. In addition to equipment being
donated to both, national team players are participants and Williams (a West Bay
resident) umpires West
Bay games and coaches the
Scholars team.

Adding to the hype around
volleyball is the return of the North and Central America
and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation beach circuit tournament. The
competition will be held at Seven
Mile Public
Beach 19-21 March.

Last year Cayman was represented by
Olney Thompson and Shervin Rankine on the men’s side and Wanda Brenton and
Jennifer Bily on the women’s team.

With the beach volleyball tournament
coming up in a few weeks Williams sees now as the time for the public to get
behind the sport.

“People now have more than enough
chances to get into volleyball. In fact we hope to start up a school league
featuring all of the schools. The idea is to start it in the district halls on
the weekends in the next month or two.”

Persons interested in being
involved in volleyball should call Noel Williams at 916-2134 or e-mail [email protected]


Cayman Academy received their donation last week.
Matthew Yates