Cayman’s beach volleyball showcase has the blessing of government officials like Mark Scotland.
The Minister of Sports states he is totally behind the fourth staging of the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation tour opener on Grand Cayman’s Public Beach.
“Cayman is well on its way into developing as an international sporting jurisdiction of choice,” Scotland said. “Hosting the first leg of the NORCECA tournament for four years has placed us on the international map. Sports tourism for us is no longer a dream but an unfolding reality.
“The NORCECA tournament is indicative of confidence placed in us and tribute is due. The hard work of the Noel Williams and his team at the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation is bearing fruit we can all be proud of. Even with limited resources, my ministry has the full support of government to help make Cayman proud as hosts.
“I must salute the many sponsors who are helping to bring dreams into great reality. The sponsors must be thanked for having the vision to walk with Cayman long before this tournament hit the bright lights.
“To our national team, we cheer for you to do your best as you climb to new heights. Welcome to all our overseas athletes and officials. Cayman is happy to have you with us over these few days.”
Some 16 countries will be here this weekend from Friday, 23 March, until Sunday, 25 March. Athletes from powerhouse countries like the US, Canada and Mexico and Caribbean neighbours like Jamaica arrived on Wednesday and trained on Thursday. Matches get under way on Friday with each day seeing action from 9am until roughly 9pm with free admission to the public.
Eight players are expected to represent Cayman. Richard Campbell partners with Shervin Rankin as Andrew Gordon and Olney Thompson plus Duncan Hamann and Philippe Deslandes are the other male pairings. Cristin Alexander and Jennifer Bily are the lone females.
Federation public relations officer Carl Brown gave an update on happenings leading up to the tournament.
“Sinjin Smith will be here representing the International Volleyball Federation,” Brown said. “Some teams have dropped out while other countries have moved up with Canada, for example, sporting more teams. On the Cayman side, there will be the three men’s teams and we do have the lady pairing. They are sorting out last-minute things.”
The 2012 NORCECA tour opener has a number of local sponsors including the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways, CIBC First Caribbean International Bank and caycompass.com