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‘Defend Your Spike’ tourney set for this weekend

  • The Scotiabank Defenders volleyball club will host the three-day ‘Defend Your Spike’ Volleyball Tournament, starting this Friday at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. FILE

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: May 16, 2013

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Six international squads, along with a number of local clubs, have confirmed participation in the 3rd Annual ‘Defend Your Spike’ Volleyball Tournament, set to get underway on Friday.

Returning to defend their title are the International Jammers female squad and the Scotiabank Defenders men’s volleyball team. The three-day tournament, which will be played at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, will also feature A-Gozor, the 2011 winners, the Johnson’s Lady Truckers, the International Jammers men’s squad, the Auto Mall Bombers and the Caribbean All-stars, just to name a few. A number of professional players competing on the European circuit are expected to be in town.

The Bahamas’ own Byron Ferguson and Prince Wilson, both professional players, will suit up with the Defenders, in an attempt to stop players from Jamaica, the United States of America (USA) and Canada. The International Jammers teams consist of players from National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I colleges and from around the Caribbean. The teams practice and compete in North Carolina.

A-Gozor will bring a strong team to compete in the female division. They are the winners of the inaugural tournament, back in 2011. National team player Shedrick Forbes will be switching hats this weekend, from player to coach and back to player. Forbes, the starting right side player for the Defenders, has entered two female squads this year. According to him, both teams are strong and skillful enough to advance to the final.

“It will be a competitive tournament,” said Forbes. “Not only will I be playing, but I am coaching two female teams, one being an international team and the other a mix of local players. What we are trying to do is bring awareness in the community by promoting the sport locally. If we continue to bring regional and international teams here to play our teams, players will gain more experience and the country more exposure, so in this case, everyone is winning. This way, Bahamians can watch volleyball being played at a high level.

“One of the teams that I will be coaching will have international players, two of whom are professionals playing in the European area. The remaining players either played in NCAA Division I, Division II or NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) volleyball games. The players who we are bringing in can compete at high levels. This is a good opportunity for all to see the sport at a high level, letting them know that they don’t have to go away and see volleyball played at this level, but come out and watch it right here.”

Ferguson thanked Scotiabank for its continuous support and also invited the general public out to watch the games. Leah Davis, marketing manager at Scotiabank Bahamas Ltd., congratulated members of the Defenders volleyball team in their continuous effort in promoting the sport. While encouraging persons to come out and watch the games, Davis officially welcomed all players pointing out that they are already winners just by stepping on the court.

She said: “This event has grown beyond a national event and can be dubbed an international event. As I understand it, we will be hosting six teams from both the United States and the Caribbean so we are excited to be a part of it. We recognized the significance of this event. It goes well beyond just putting on a tournament in the sport of volleyball, it also presents sports tourism opportunities. We are hoping that the teams also get an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Bahamian beaches. As you know, Scotiabank is an active participant in the community and we are excited to be a part of this event. We wish the defending Scotiabank Defenders the best of luck, as well as the rest of the teams that will be competing.”

The first game of the tournament will get underway at 6 p.m. on Friday. About three games will be played on Friday evening. Games will continue on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., and then again on Sunday, starting at 10 a.m.


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