Tall order but it was never short

It was a stiff challenge but they met it perfectly and maintained their rapidly growing reputation as a world class venue to stage international volleyball competitions.

All connected with the Cayman Islands Volleyball Association, exhausted but glowing with pride after staging another highly successful North, Central America and the Caribbean first tournament of the series, can look forward to many more triumphs.

Volleyball president Noel Williams, tournament director Fareed Hosein, coordinator Carl Brenton, public relations officer Carl Brown and all the volunteers involved made it another memorable event.

NORCECA is now fully on board and a world tour place beckons. How rapidly the event has grown since its first staging only two years ago when 17 teams came. Last year it was 24 and this time at Public Beach there were 40, which was eight more than had ever competed at a NORCECA event.

The challenge was huge for relative novices to staging such events but they came through admirably and once again visiting athletes, officials and dignitaries left singing Cayman’s praises.

The only criticism – albeit slight – was that scheduling was exceptionally tight and sometimes teams had to play three times in one day in the blazing heat. But considering it was oversubscribed because of its popularity and a second court had to be organised belatedly by Brenton to accommodate the excess, it went really well. Brenton remained incredibly focused considering wife Wanda went straight to the hospital to have their baby daughter, Logan, after Sunday’s games.

All the sponsors deserve props too, especially the government. Sports minister Mark Scotland attended the finals on Sunday, with Mike Adam, the

minister of community affairs and housing.

The government can see the value of staging such events through sports tourism.

The USA women’s team that won the gold medal ensured they went to Stingray City before flying out on Monday night. Future competitors have promised to stay at least a day later in the future to fully enjoy the benefits of the beauty that is the Cayman Islands.