Volleyball is another popular sport that kids can now learn thanks to a government backed after-school programme. It is part of the National Juniors Volleyball Programme, supported by The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation.
Last Monday afternoon marked the first meeting of the beach volleyball juniors, at Public Beach. Participants included students Alexis Robinson, Ileann Powery, Tiffany Martinez, Deshae Terry and Krista Ebanks.
National team representative Jennifer Bily has volunteered to introduce the girls to the sport and begin coaching them towards tournament level. Bily said: “I’m excited and honoured to work with these young athletes and will do my best to encourage and guide them towards a solid understanding of the sport, improvement of their skills, fitness and enthusiasm for competing. So far, I can see that they are filled with great energy, teamwork and a level of commitment that will surely take them wherever they wish to go.”
Alexis Robinson is an indoor and beach participant. She said: “I am really enjoying the programme and it’s great to have a member of the women’s national beach volleyball team to coach us. I’m looking forward to improving my skills and maybe one day being able to play in a beach volleyball tournament.”
Kennedy McGowan, vice-president of the volleyball federation, is encouraged by the turnout for the junior girls national volleyball programme. “A group of around 15 girls are coached indoors by Andrea Williams at UCCI on Saturdays and Jennifer Bily of Life Extension Sports & Fitness has undertaken to coach on Public Beach one day a week. We are grateful for the corporate sponsorship of Walkers and their support of the Cayman Islands Youth Volleyball Development Programme. We hope to develop this elite group of female athletes to represent Cayman nationally and internationally in beach and indoor events. “We are expecting one of the positive outcomes of this programme will be opportunities for athletic scholarships abroad. The federation’s overall goal for the Cayman Islands Youth Volleyball Development Programme is to provide athletes the opportunity to practice positive healthy lifestyles, provide discipline through team building while instilling national pride and a sense of purpose.”