No wonder they all came back!

Volleyball should be a huge sport
in Cayman. It’s getting there though. Rapidly as well after years of being
virtually dormant.

Thanks to recent efforts by the
likes of Noel Williams, president of the volleyball association and Carl Brenton
who organises mainly the beach version, the sport is set to take off on these

Friday sees the start of another
three-day extravaganza with the launch of the North, Central America and
Caribbean Volleyball Confederation season at Public Beach, George Town.

Last year only 10 teams in the
men’s and women’s turned up for Cayman’s inaugural hosting of the 14-event
season. This time all 16 spots were snapped up well in advance.

They loved the organisers’ great
attention to detail, how everywhere was so accessible and the general warmth of
everyone they met.

Word spread like a virus that
Cayman is the coolest new venue to play in a NORCECA event which also
contributes to Olympic qualifying points.

Seasoned pair Shervin Rankin and
Olney ‘OT’ Thompson will lead Cayman’s male charge, ably backed up by newcomers
Duncan Hamann and Andrew Gordon.

Hamann being a Canadian was into hockey
growing up. He played indoor volleyball at high school and picked up the sport
again on arriving here four years ago.

With Gordon he has played in a
couple of tournaments in Jamaica and Florida recently. This is their first
serious tournament but should not be overwhelmed having played together on and
off for a few years.

Hamann, 28, is a waiter at the
Westin. He said: “We’re going to get some experience from this. It’s a fairly
high level. We’re going to show North America and Central America what we’ve
got here and definitely compete, try and win a few games and get on that

Gordon, 36, is a submarine pilot
for Atlantis. He first played volleyball in his Jamaican homeland about 14
years ago, entering competitions there.

“This is the highest level I’ve
ever played so it’s pretty exciting,” Gordon said. “I’m hoping to get a lot out
of it and hope to make the podium. I intend to represent Cayman well at this
level and do my best.

“We just need to remain consistent
because we have all the fundamentals. Once we can do that, have a lot of fun
together I’ll be happy.”