THE North America, Central and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Beach Volleyball will make a highly-anticipated return to Saint Lucia from this weekend for the 10th leg of the Circuit.
The Saint Lucia Volleyball Association (SLVA) will again host the event against the historic and picturesque backdrop of the Pigeon Island National Landmark.
The Saint Lucia stage of the Circuit was launched last week at Palm Haven Hotel with sponsors and members of the media present.
The Association Secretary, Jean Morille, thanked the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports and Saint Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) for their assistance, as well as gold sponsor Kentucky Fried Chicken, LUCELEC and other stakeholders for again joining the Association in putting on the event despite the stringent economic climate.
Leslie Collymore, who serves on the organizing/planning committee, said a number of other sponsors are currently being courted to chip in, along with other friends of volleyball, to make this sports tourism event possible. Collymore said it will cost the SLVA about $250,000 to host the event.
Like previous years, the Saint Lucian public will witness a combined 32 male and female teams from as far north as Canada and far south as Costa Rica vying for the US$16,000 in prize money. The teams include USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Barbados, El Salvador, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Nicaragua, Suriname, Cuba, Jamaica and host Saint Lucia.
Team Saint Lucia will be on full throttle as they continue their preparation to represent the country, namely Team 1 Female – Skye Mondesir (Youth Olympian) and Kerin Neptune and Team 2 Female – JamillaLansiquot and Dala Noel as well as Team 1 Male – Joseph Clercent and Darnell Eudoxie and Team 2 Male – Coen Caesar and Sheldon Descartes are currently putting their final touches together to represent the Helen of the West.
Although the absence of Julian Bissette will be felt as he is presently playing professionally in Greece, the Saint Lucian contingent will be very well represented under the watchful eyes of Coach/Player Clercent.
SLVA’s Public Relations Officer, Irvin Germain, said at the press launch: “Saint Lucia’s male beach volley-ballers have done very well in recent years, having won two bronze medals on the NORCECA tour in the past. They qualified for CAC Games in 2014 and Pan American Games in 2015 and went as far as the final qualification tournament in Mexico for Rio Olympics in 2016 by finishing in 6th place, the highest-ranked Caribbean island.”
The final leg of the circuit will be held in Trinidad and Tobago from November 23-28.