Beach volleyball may only have a modest following in the Cayman Islands but for all those involved in the sport here, they can take pride in the fact that the regional body ranks these shores very highly.
That’s because in Cayman’s two stagings of the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation tournament has gone so well that when the it runs again next week, it will be oversubscribed.
For the first time in NORCECA history, a tournament will have a waiting list. One of the main sponsors is www.caycompass.com.
Thirty-two teams are allowed but the USA want to enter two teams so provision will have to be made for them and Jamaica.
Noel Williams is the president of the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation. He said: “NORCECA said this is fantastic.
The reason why teams like coming here so much is that not only are we very organised but teams see Cayman as unique. Other nations don’t play on beautiful, clean sand by a clear, blue sea like we do. They transport the sand and play beside mountains or in cities.
“We also look after the athletes better than others with first-class hotels and restaurants. In fact, the Marriott and Comfort Suites are already filled to capacity so we have a nice problem of having to find extra accommodation elsewhere.”
Testament to Cayman’s popularity is that two American pros, Stafford Slick and Marcin Jagoda, who were here over the weekend to give clinics to the public and coach the men’s and women’s Cayman teams, were blocked from representing the US. Others will take their place.
“Stafford and Marcin did a great job of coaching for up to nine hours our teams,” said Williams. “Our men’s team is Shervin Rankin and Olney ‘OT’ Thompson and the women’s is Jennifer Bily and Cristin Alexander. We can’t even field a second team because there isn’t any space.”