The new government budget is forcing many sporting bodies to operate under tighter financial constraints.
Among them is the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation, who are gearing up for two international tournaments while sending players to compete on the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation 2012 circuit.
The tour’s eighth stop is in the US city of San Diego on 26 September-1 October and federation public relations officer Carl Brown states budgeting is a top concern.
“Funds are limited, we have to be careful how we stretch them because of other commitments,” Brown said. “As teams consist of two people, the resources we have to allocate are not the same as other sports.
“In some ways, we’re like athletics. We’re nearly an individual sport.”
According to the 2012-2013 purchase agreement between government and the federation, only $10,427 is being budgeted for volleyball. That amount is a reduction from the 2011-2012 budget year, which was a meagre $11,585.
By comparison, the Cayman Islands Athletic Association is being granted $27,804. That allotment is down from the 2011-2012 budget figure of $30,893. The association is the national governing body for track and field, one of Cayman’s six focus sports.
Cristin Alexander, 25, is a top female talent who often stars alongside her playing partner Jennifer Bily. Alexander states she is not worrying about her sport’s financial limitations.
“We have four more stops we’re hoping to attend, with one of those being San Diego,” Alexander said. “We’d like to go but we have to see where the federation stands with financing.”
After this weekend’s matches, the tour is expected to head to Trinidad and Tobago on 10-15 October, Antigua on 17-22 October and Puerto Rico on 7-12 November.
Cayman’s players will also be focusing on two major indoor tournaments. The 2014 NORCECA World Championship Men’s First Round Qualifier takes place 6-7 October at the new Clifton Hunter High School Sports Centre in Frank Sound. The site of the qualifier recently changed from the University College of the Cayman Islands to North Side.
Four male Caribbean teams, representing Cayman, Aruba, Barbados and Suriname, will be competing for a spot at the World Championships in Poland in 2014.
After that is the annual Cayman Airways Spikefest competition running 9-11 November at the Sir Vassel Johnson Hall of the university college. Cayman will challenge teams from Jamaica, Bahamas, the US and Barbados.
Brown, who helped the federation stage an indoor league at Camana Bay, states all of those competitions are necessary to grow volleyball in Cayman.
“They place Cayman in good position going forward as to which tournaments we can go to from here. The NORCECA tour puts the players in a position to be in the top 10 at the end of the NORCECA year.
“It provides us with more recognition from the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball and in turn provides leverage to get clinics and resources from that volleyball federation.”
Alexander is eager to replicate a recent fifth place finish in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. That historic result has the George Town resident dreaming of a high NORCECA ranking in the near future.
“That’s the next step, along with having a national coach. To make the top five with better coaching is the goal.”