CHRISTMAS has come extremely early for the Trinidad and Tobago female volleyball team.
During a press conference yesterday at the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago, Henry Street, Port of Spain, Courtnee Mae Clifford revealed that the national indoor women's team has received a US$20,000 cheque to assist with three major projects this year.
The generous contribution comes from Caribbean Recreational Initiatives Limited (CRIL), a sport and recreational supply company established in Trinidad and Tobago in 2006.
Clifford, who has won several local and regional awards in the position of libero as a member of the team for the last six years, is an employee with the Chaguanas-based company.
The T&T women have dominated their Caribbean rivals during the last decade and they completed a beaver-trick in the biennial Caribbean Championships last year in St Croix.
The victories have qualified them for the Pan American Cup and they will be involved in this prestigious tournament again this year.
It will take place in Peru in June and will be the second of three tournaments which will be funded by the CRIL cheque.
The first will be a month earlier at home when T&T will be favourites to advance to the third round of qualifying for next year's World Championships in Italy.
And the final of the three events will be the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Women's Championships in Brazil in September.
The beach volleyballers will also be busy this year as the NORECA tour will serve off next week Friday in the Cayman Islands.
T&Tare expected to be represented, especially after Fabian Whitfield and Daneil Williams secured this country's first-ever NORCECA medal when they picked up bronze at home in the penultimate leg of last year's circuit in October.
There are 14 legs on this year's calendar, with the 11th scheduled for Trinidad in mid-November.
And the juniors will also have a lot to look forward to. The under-18 girls and boys will be involved in the Pan American Cup in Guatemala next month and Guadeloupe in July, respectively. And the Caribbean Junior Championships will be staged here in August.