NORCECA starts in Cayman again

The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation can again boast that it is hosting the NORCECA Continental Tour season opener. 

The North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation represents 35 member countries at the International Volleyball Federation level, and to be given the opening tournament is immensely prestigious.  

The tournament is on Seven Mile Beach from April 24-26 and will again have world-class standards. Eight NORCECA countries that annually compete at Seven Mile Beach have advanced to the upcoming World Championships in the Netherlands.  

Teams from United States, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Puerto Rico will represent NORCECA Confederation at the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships from June 26 to July 5. 

Cayman is entering two female teams and one male team: Ileann Powery and Chante Smith-Johnson, who competed in the Youth Olympic Games Qualifier last year in Puerto Rico; Jessica Wolfenden and Stefania Gandolfi, who are paired again; and veterans Olney “OT” Thompson and Philippe Deslandes.  

These teams, along with Richard Campbell and Shervin Rankin, will also share duties on the NORCECA Continental Tour throughout the region, as well as other international level competitions.  

Cayman’s volleyball president Kennedy McGowan highlighted the importance of the progress of local officials and referees at the international level when he announced that a NORCECA referee instructor will be on island prior to the opening of the tournament.  

“We are looking for people who may be interested in taking this course,” said McGowan. “Even if they don’t get to referee at this event, we have the beach volleyball Under-19 World Championship Qualifier in August and they will be certified by an official NORCECA referee instructor.” 

Olney ‘OT’ Thompson and Philippe Deslandes will represent Cayman in the NORCECA opener. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD