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No Bahamian women’s team for beach volleyball

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: Mar 30, 2012

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Putting together a women’s team to compete on the North, Central American and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Beach Volleyball circuit appears to be a challenge for the governing body of the sport in the country.

The Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF) has no problem in fielding a men’s team, but much work needs to be done to get the women up to par and competing, revealed Joe Smith, first vice president of the federation. Even though the BVF has already missed the tour opener, held last week in the Cayman Islands, they don’t mind playing “catch up” to the other Caribbean islands. In fact, Mueller Petit and Renaldo Knowles are in Campo Marte, Guatemala, and will represent The Bahamas on the second leg of the tour. No female team was registered by the BVF.

“This is a new initiative introduced by NORCECA to help Caribbean countries qualify,” said Smith. “The reason why we didn’t go to the first beach challenge was because we were waiting on confirmation from NORCECA. We were looking at finances and what they were going to do in terms of assisting us with the four persons on the team. Now that all of that is squared away, we will move forward. We can send one male and one female squad to compete, but we will have to wait and see with the female team. We need to see if the women can pair themselves and partner for the tour. We want to have females on the tour but that is presenting some challenges for us. The men are active, we just need to get the women up and running now.”

The next stop on the tour is Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, April 4-9. Prince Wilson and Byron Ferguson were selected to compete in this leg. Like Petit and Knowles, who will be going up against teams from around the Caribbean this weekend, all four players are hoping to improve in the rankings and score points. Other teams include Antigua, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Smith said: “We have to register all the teams, but we can’t when the women aren’t stepping up and saying if they are interested or not. We need to get them playing. This is the start for the 2014 tour so we need to get everyone playing, so when next year comes and they start eliminating countries we will be in the thick of things and not get eliminated, but right now they are trying to get every country to play as much as possible. NORCECA will make a decision in a meeting that will be held in St. Croix in April. That will determine the future and way forward for the world indoors. Both men and women are registered for the 2014 tournament, but you have to start playing this year. CVC (Caribbean Volleyball Championships) acts as a qualifier for that as well, so this is a tedious year.”

The tour will continue with challenges set for Miami, Florida, and Colima, Mexico in May. The last challenge is set for November 21-26 in Panama.

 


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