Two of Canada’s top female spikers inspired local youngsters.
Prior to Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas winning the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation 2013 beach circuit opener on Public Beach, the Canadian duo hosted a youth volleyball clinic at Royal Palms.
Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation Public Relations Officer Carl Brown states last month’s sessions were well-received.
“The clinic was held over two days for the benefit of 16 next-generation volleyball players, including junior national team players,” Brown said. “The girls passed on techniques and structure. Broder and Valjas consider Cayman a special place based on how they were treated here.
“Now that they have emerged winners, they would want to come back and lead clinics to teach more youngsters.”
Broder and Valjas worked on fundamentals like serving and setting. Among the clinic participants were Ileann Powery and Chante Smith-Johnson.
Broder and Valjas beat out American tandems Jennifer Kropp and Whitney Pavlik and third place finishers Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat for the NORCECA women’s crown. Along the way, the Canadians would beat the Cayman pairing of Jessica Wolfenden and Stefania Gandolfi in the quarterfinals.
Cayman’s other female tandem of Jennifer Bily and Cristin Alexander would be eliminated in the tournament’s consolation bracket by Diana Romero and Maria Vargas of El Salvador.
For the men, Shervin Rankin and Duncan Hamann placed 10th while Richard Campbell and Philippe Deslandes ended up 13th. The overall winners, for the second straight year, were Roberto Rodriguez and Eric Haddock of Puerto Rico.
Brown states the NORCECA victory capped off a good trip for Broder and Valjas.
“Valjas is a champion player in college while Broder has been in volleyball 10 years, with four years on the beach. It was the second time in Cayman for Broder and she thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s one of her favourite NORCECA stops.”