Getting ready for NORCECA beach again
THE Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF) will stage a women's qualifying tournament today at Saith Park, Chaguanas, to select a pair to represent the country next weekend in the Cayman Islands.
The 2013 NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tour will serve off Friday in the beautiful Caribbean island and conclude until Sunday.
This year's circuit is expected to go on until the final month of the year and the 11th of the 14-leg series is scheduled to take place in Trinidad.
T&T hosted a leg on the NORCECA tour for the first time in three years last October in Toco, but this year's event will be in mid-November this time.
Players from this country made a significant breakthrough at regional level last year, highlighted by Fabian Whitfield and Daneil Williams picking up a bronze medal in Toco.
It was the first time that T&T had ever secured a NORCECA medal, but players representing the red, white and had come close by placing fourth on four previous occasions.
A few minutes before in the very tournament, Ayanna Dyette and Nancy Joseph had gone under in the women's bronze-medal match.
Just two weeks earlier, in the middle of October, two T&T pairs – Williams/Whitfield and Dyette/Elki Philip – ended up fourth, while the other two – Simon Blake/Colin Bernard and Joseph/ Pauline Woodroffe – were fifth in St Lucia.
The only other time that T&T players were NORCECA contenders was when Philip and Joseph placed fourth in Dominican Republic three years ago.
The performance of the T&T pairs last year has resulted in the male and female under-21 and 23 teams qualifying for the World Championships in the middle of the year.
The under-23 tournament will take place from June 6 until 9 in Poland, while the under-21s will be in action in Croatia from June 20-23.
The men's qualifying event for Friday's tournament in the Cayman Islands took place a month ago and Blake and Williams will compete together for the first time at NORCECA level after being triumphant.
Unable to travel for the next few months because of studies, Whitfield will miss the first four legs (until June), but he still played the qualifying tournament with Bernard, who will not be able to travel as a result of work commitments.
The women's qualifying serves off at 10 a.m. today, but the participating pairs will not be known until registration takes place a little earlier.
The second leg will take place the weekend after (March 29-31) in the Dominican Republic and the T&T pairs will go there straight from Cayman Islands, providing they receive funding by the time they depart this Wednesday.