Bid for world event is next

Cayman’s gorgeous sand, sea and sun
lends itself to being a beach volleyball haven so it’s no surprise that the
Caribbean’s premiere series of tournaments launches here next week.

NORCECA’s first of 14 tournaments
starts at the Public Beach, George Town from 19-21 March and expectations are
high considering last year’s inaugural staging was so successful.

Noel Williams is President of the
Cayman Islands Beach Volleyball Association. He said: “This tournament is very
exciting for the Cayman Islands and for the World Volleyball Federation.

“Last year we hosted the NORCECA
competition for the first time and it was a huge success.

“We actually got rated as the number
one tournament throughout the region. So it was like a piece of cake going back
and bidding for it this time.

“All the countries that came before
are dying to come back so that made it easy for us, knowing that we did a very
good job.

“This year is going to be much
bigger and better. It was 10 teams in both men’s and women’s last time, but we
have a full complement of 16 this time. That is awesome for us. The word went
around and it was good PR for us.”

The matches had big crowds last
year and in anticipation of even more, additional bleachers and an extra court
are added. The ripple effect of staging volleyball tournaments is already
evident.

“Now we’re having more after-school
programmes than ever, in about five schools.

“I’ve been invited to Italy in
September for the World Congress and there I will bid for the world tour. That
would involve around 200 countries coming to Cayman, which is unheard of for a
Caribbean island.

“I would like to thank the Minister
of Tourism, McKeeva Bush, for coming on board this year and his junior minister
Cline Glidden. And also the Minister of Sports, Mark Scotland and First
Caribbean Bank and the Olympic Committee. They are our four main sponsors that
made it all possible.

“Last year we saw a few hundred
visitors come in and this year will be no exception. That’s the beauty of beach
volleyball, how it helps sports tourism by bringing a lot of people into our
country.

“We have two teams in each division
so it’s very exciting and we’re looking forward to having a very good
tournament.”

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