CAZOVA & ECVA Beach U19 World Championships Qualification Tournaments

BLACK ROCK, Tobago, May 23, 2024.- Following on the successful hosting of the volleyball competition at the Courland Beach Sports Facility in Black Rock, Tobago for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Tobago last year, the venue will once again take the spotlight where a Development Camp and the U19 World Championships Qualification event will be held.

Additionally, the Trinbago Beach Volleyball Tour (TBVT) hosted by the T&T Volleyball Federation (TTVF) serves off on at the same venue. The event will be held from the 23-26 May 2024.

The first two days of the four-day event will be dedicated to a development training camp for the young athletes and their coaches supported by Panam Sports.  This will be followed by the FIVB Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) Under-19 World Championship Zonal Qualifiers featuring teams from Aruba, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Martinique, St Kitts/Nevis, St Lucia, Suriname and host Trinidad & Tobago.

The Trinbago Senior Open Championship, will be contested alongside the U19 Championships.

The development training Camp will be  conducted by Brazilian FIVB Instructor Augusto Sabbatini, and all National Coaches accompanying the teams will participate with their respective teams.

The winning team in each gender of the World Championship Qualifying U-19 Tournament, will secure their tickets to the main draw of the FIVB World Championship in China from August 27 to September 1 while the runners-up will qualify for the qualification draw of the FIVB World Championship in China August 27 to September 1.

Mushtaque Mohammed, President of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA), said it is a grand opportunity for all the participating countries in the Caribbean to win the grand prize of qualifying to the FIVB Under-19 Beach Volleyball World Championship later this year.

Mohammed added, “So, an Under-19 boys and girls team on Sunday (May 26) will win that opportunity to go to the World Championships and it is a first for the Caribbean and we are happy to facilitate these opportunities.”

A former T&T Volleyball Federation boss Mohammed was also full of praise for the merger between the two associations in the Caribbean coming together for the qualifiers, the ECVA and CAZOVA.

He said, “The merger of the two zones of the ECVA and CAZOVA provides another great opportunity because it’s one Caribbean. Playing together is a unique opportunity for all the countries and players to develop because the more the players compete together and against each other is the more likely they are to develop as players and teams.

Looking at the participating teams and players, Mohammed stated, “We have athletes here competing over the two days who are 14 years-old and this is an Under-19 FIVB World Qualification Tournament, so it means that in eight years time for the Brisbane Olympics in Australia that individual will be 22 years of age which is considered the peaking years to play your sport at the Olympics.

“And the ones who are already 18-years and competing in Tobago, the next two cycles they will be 26 which is even better for them at the Olympics, so the Under-19 category here is really outstanding.

In terms of the technical aspects of the game, Mohammed said, “We also have many coaches here who will be sharing their ideas together with the four international coaches that we have here, so they will all learn and benefit from each other in the preparation of athletes for higher level competitions.

“Overall, this is great start and a wonderful investment and hopefully, we can see at the end of this in eight to 12 years that some of the athletes who started here qualify for the Olympics, and that will be the crowning moment for us.”

Speaking on the eve of the competition, T&TVF President, Daymian Stewart said, “I’m very happy and pleased to see the progress that we are making and the Trinbago Tour in terms of the milestones and markers that we had set ourselves in our strategic plan for 2032.

“This is our second season of the Trinbago Tour and we would have learnt a lot from our first season in 2023 and now for the start of the second season with the combined ECVA and CAZOVA teams competing in the FIVB Under-19 World Beach Volleyball Championship Qualifiers we are delighted.”

Looking ahead for the two-day FIVB Under-19 Qualifiers, Stewart noted that 10 countries have confirmed participation for the chance to qualify one team in the men and women categories to the FIVB World Championship.

“So, it’s really a big tournament and at the same time we are very thankful for the sponsors and of the Tobago House of Assembly and the other sponsors and we also want to implore that corporate T&T also get on board.”