The T&T Volleyball Federation (TTVF) is seeking the support of corporate T&T as they attempt to raise TT$200,000 to complete their budget to participate in three major upcoming international tournaments.
In a press release from the Daymian Stewart-led T&TVF on Sunday afternoon it was stated that the T&T teams will be aiming to contest the Women’s Pan American Junior Games Qualification Tournament in Aguascalientes, Mexico, from August 9-16 followed by the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Senior Men Championship in Durango, Mexico August 16-24, and the NORCECA Senior Women Championship – Guadalajara, Mexico from August 24 to September 1.
According to Stewart, the local volleyball federation has already secured 80 per cent of their air tickets and now has to secure funding to cover the cost of registration fees (totalling US$10,000); six tickets for the men’s team as well as homologated uniforms for all the teams.
The Soca Women Spikers, the reigning eight-time Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) champions created history in 2017 when they qualified for the FIVB Women’s World Championship, and will be representing the Caribbean at these important championships that will all serve as qualification events.
T&T women won its first of eight titles overall in 1996 under former coach Macsood Ali and then under the supervision of Cuban-born Francisco Cruz, the team won in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2017 to move ahead of long-time rival Barbados which recorded wins in 1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 as having won the most titles.
The national men's team is yet to qualify for a prestigious FIVB Championship, but have been crowned Caribbean champions, three times, 2010 in Suriname, and 2014 and 2017 on home soil.
With regards to the ongoing battle against the coronavirus pandemic, Stewart said the T&TVF fully endorsed the Government efforts to vaccinate and have encouraged its athlete to be vaccinated even though the tournaments in Mexico, will all take place in a bubble environment.
According to Stewart: “The T&TVF believes its teams and other competing national teams will provide hope for young persons in T&T. So far the national body for volleyball and beach volleyball is very proud of the work we have done so far to secure most of their tickets."
He added: “It is in this regard, the TTVF is appealing to companies to support young athletes as they involve themselves in positive activities."
The FIVB Level III coaches Cruz and Gideon Dickson are responsible for the preparations of the women and men teams respectively.
And a number of the country’s top athletes have made themselves available led by Portugal-based professional Marc-Anthony Honore of SL Benfica, Darlene Ramdin, Krystle Esdelle, and Channon Thompson along with USA-based Daynte Stewart, Adriel Roberts, Natassia Baptiste, Destiny Leon, Aaliyah Alexis, Delicia Pierre, and Kaylon Cruickshank.