Spikefest limbers up for showcase

Indoor volleyball will soon be on display

The 2013 Cayman Airways Spikefest competition is scheduled for this weekend, Nov. 8-10, at the University College of the Cayman Islands multipurpose hall. The event, organized by the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation, is in its seventh year. Spikefest went on a brief hiatus from the local volleyball scene but 2013 will mark its fourth consecutive edition. 

Federation president Noel Williams said locals should support the event. 

“The federation is pleased to once again host this tournament, which has been a success over the past few years,” Williams said. “I would like to thank all of the sponsors, officials and volunteers that are working very hard to put this event together. Play starts on Friday, Nov. 8, throughout the weekend with the finals commencing at 6 p.m. on Sunday. 

“The games will be held at Sir Vassel Johnson Hall at UCCI and admission is free, so please come out and support your favorite teams.” 

As Williams mentions, matches start this Friday from 4 p.m. and wrap up Sunday evening. Players from Jamaica, Bahamas, the United States, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago will be flying down to face Cayman’s best players. The federation states there will be two local men’s and two women’s teams. 

Spikefest usually attracts teams from around the region. Last year, much of the same players challenged Caymanian talent. The Caribbean All Stars would win the men’s title while Venus, representing the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, were the women’s champions. 

Fareed Hosein is the tournament director and said the event is a big part of Cayman’s sports tourism product. 

“Spikefest will continue to be a top class event for the Cayman Islands, attracting the top club teams from all over the Caribbean,” Hosein said. “This event exemplifies our commitment to both forms of the sport, volleyball as well as beach volleyball.  

“The federation continues to show the high standard of its organizational capabilities and we will continue to keep striving forward and display the importance of the Cayman Islands as a sports tourism destination.” 

As Hosein states, beach volleyball will factor into the event proceedings. The federation has planned a one-day tournament at Royal Palms for those participating in Spikefest on the Remembrance Day holiday. Matches will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. 

The holiday showcase will mark the federation’s second notable beach competition in recent weeks. The inaugural Big Dig tournament took place in mid-October, attracting more than 10 teams in a variety of colorful costumes ranging from superheroes in tutus and tights to motley crews of pirates and bearded characters.  

For their inventive attire, Ball Bashers won the best costume prize, sponsored by Caybrew. Bashers were also second overall and won an award from World Gym. KPMG were the top team and nabbed Cayman Airways tickets. Volley Rogers placed third and won a prize sponsored by Bliss Yoga.  

The competition, modeled off similar events in the U.S., also gave a boost to youth development in the sport. Proceeds from the tournament went towards sending Chante Smith-Johnson and Ileann Powery to Trinidad for the 2014 Youth Olympic qualifiers. 

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Olney Thompson usually plays for Cayman. – PHOTO: MATTHEW YATES
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