Volleyball tryouts for athletes ages 14-19 are scheduled for April 5 and 8 at John Gray High School.

The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation is focussing its efforts on youth development programmes, with the Under-19 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) games around the corner.

The federation has rolled out a number of initiatives designed to promote the sport across the island, and in collaboration with Canadian Coach Rick Bevis, identify and prepare young athletes eligible to represent Cayman at the CAZOVA games in Jamaica in July.

Since his arrival in January, Bevis has led volleyball skill development sessions at John Gray High School on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings. More than 35 players ranging in age from 8 to 18 have attended the open training sessions.

Although this indoor clinic concluded on March 30, there are more youth development opportunities in the works.

Coach Bevis recently visit ed some local schools.

Volleyball is a technical sport, so it’s easier to teach students the proper techniques from the start, rather than trying to correct improper form later down the line, the Volleyball Federation said in a press release.

Last week, Bevis ran a coaching clinic for physical education teachers from Triple C, Cayman Prep and John Gray Schools. The focus of the clinic was on a ‘Games 4 Understanding’ approach with students in Grades 6-10.

Teacher and coach Marcus Patterson, from Triple C, found the training to be informative and said the takeaway from the clinic “will serve to facilitate students learning volleyball as early as Grade 6 through their physical education sessions”.

In continued commitment to the development of youth volleyball locally, CIVF presented Triple C with 26 volleyballs. Principal Bob Lankford accepted the volleyballs from Kennedy McGowan, president of CIVF and the visiting coach.

Patterson said that “this initiative by Triple C School and the support of CIVF will be crucial for the sustainability of the sport on the island”.

With the youth training sessions, school practices, and the PSA league under way, coach Bevis said that “All of these sessions have given me an opportunity to identify athletes in advance of the upcoming Youth National Team Development Program tryouts in early April.”

Once the team has been selected, the Youth National Team will participate in a development programme from April through to July. With the objective of sending a Cayman Islands team to a CAZOVA age class event in Jamaica in July, Bevis is encouraging athletes ages 14-19 to attend tryouts scheduled for April 5 and 8 at John Gray High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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