FIVB, NORCECA And Olympic Solidarity Join Forces To Develop Youth Beach Volleyball Teams With Pilot Project In The Caribbean  

The pilot project saw the FIVB, NORCECA and Olympic Solidarity support the organisation of the ECVA Beach Volleyball Championships . 

The FIVB, NORCECA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), through Olympic Solidarity, have launched a joint pilot project with the aim of supporting the development of youth beach volleyball teams in the Eastern Caribbean Zone.     

The project is supported through the Olympic Solidarity Youth Athlete Development programme and marks a collaborative effort between the FIVB, NORCECA and the IOC. The objective is to enhance young athletes’ exposure to high level competition and create opportunities for teams to qualify for continental and international age group competitions, such as the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in 2025.  

As part of the pilot project, the FIVB, NORCECA and Olympic Solidarity supported the organisation of the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) U19 Beach Volleyball Championships held in St. Kitts and Nevis from 2 to 3 September. In particular, the FIVB is providing an annual allocation to the ECVA to organise the championships, while Olympic Solidarity is supporting the players and coaches with transportation and registration fees.  

The inaugural edition of the tournament was a huge success, with youth teams from across the region; namely Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and home team St. Kitts & Nevis gathering to compete in a thrilling competition.  

Saint Lucia’s Peter Emmanuel and Rio Jaden Victor took the men’s gold, leaving the silver to the home team of Julian Bristol and Vickash Sundar, while Dominica’s Bill Clarke Frederick and Mervin Mervel Mingo settled for bronze. Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, DMA’s Edmund and Bully took gold, while Carr and Joseph of Antigua and Fleming and Richardson from AGU settled for silver and bronze, respectively.  

Men U19 Beach ECVA winners

Steve Tutton, the FIVB Head of Technical and Development, said:  

“This innovative project demonstrates the FIVB’s commitment to continually improving volleyball across the world. The development of young athletes is vital for the future of the sport, and it is fantastic to be working with Olympic Solidarity to help provide these youth players with opportunities to develop their talent and gain experience in high level competition.”  

Glenn Quinlan, President of the EVCA, said:  

“The U19 Beach Volleyball Championships were a huge success, and we are particularly grateful to the FIVB, NORCECA and Olympic Solidarity for their support in establishing the event. Competitions like these Championships are crucial in helping to develop volleyball in the region and for empowering our young athletes to strive for greatness on the international stage.”  

James Macleod, NOC Relations and Olympic Solidarity Director said:  

“We are very happy to see FIVB take advantage of the Olympic Solidarity Youth Athlete Development IF Opportunity programme. This programme assists smaller National Olympic Committees with sport specific support in order for talented athletes to access pathways that help them reach the next level and build towards the Olympic Games. With this initiative, FIVB demonstrates their commitment to provide young athletes with the opportunity to  train, develop their skills and reach high level competition hence ensuring the promotion of their sport worldwide”. 

St. Lucia reigns as ECVA U19 male Beach Volleyball Champs

Basseterre St. Kitts, September 03, 2023.- St. Lucia duo of Peter and Rio poured in a sterling performance in the finals of the ECVA U 19 competition beach Volleyball. Their opponents were the home team pair of Vikash and Bristol and despite having the support of a small but noisy home crowd they could not find answers to the power and control of Rio in particular.

In the first set, St. Lucia took an early and extended it bigger and bigger as the game went on.  The set ended with St. Kitts and Nevis on 10 points.

A similar pattern started in the second set but this time St. Kitts and Nevis gave a spirited fight back. They were down 0-7 but pulled the score back to within 1 (8-9)

However, that’s the closest they got  as St. Lucia increased their lead once again  and then secured the game at 21-14

Rick Swann coach of the St. Kitts and Nevis team: “I am a bit disappointed in the result but extremely proud of the guys. They showed that they have the ability to fight against tough conditions. This was shown particularly in the second set when they went toe to point with St. Lucia. They (St. Lucia) are a very strong team. Rio is amazing. In order to win we needed to get him off of his game we were not able to do that and so he literally controlled most of the game. This means that we have a lot more work to do and look forward to more battles over the years to come”.

Sheldon Nicholas Coach of St. Lucia: “The guys were able to continue the energy they picked up in the semi-final hence garnering the energy in the finals was easier. We just kept our composure and controlled the game from there. Winning the finals was a great result for us. We will continue to do some more technical work with Peter in particular but at the moment he is pretty solid we have areas to work on including teamwork and communication”.

Earlier, Dominica was able to take Bronze over Grenada in straight sets thereby relegating Grenada to fourth place.

The final places are as follows:-

1. St. Lucia  2. St. Kitts and Nevis 3. Dominica 4. Grenada 5. Anguilla 6. Bermuda 7 St. Vincent  8. Antigua 9. BVI

Dominica takes top spot in ECVA U19 female Beach Tournament

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Sept 03:-Dominica defeated Antigua and Barbuda in straight sets 21 18 21 15 in the finals of the female U-19 beach volleyball competition.

The victory was achieved in a workman-like manner. The pair of Edmund and Bully were the smallest physically in the entire tournament but they had the biggest heart and wore down the opponents with their tenacity

On the opposite side, Carr and Joseph of Antigua came into finals as somewhat the favourites and were given a shock as Bully and Edmund stuck to their guns.

Yahn Joseph Florent Coach of Dominica: “I am over the moon right now, I am just super happy with my girls right now. They are the shortest in the competition and everyone doubted them but it goes to show that height does not win volleyball. It was down to our serving, passing, and communicating with one another and being able to trust one another”.

Coach Olsen Joseph of Antigua:  “My girls fell into the trap of playing to match the style of the opponents and what is worse they were becoming annoyed and frustrated with themselves and as a result their game fell apart. I trust that this motivates them to come and work harder for the next event coming up”.

Earlier in the day, Anguilla took the third spot in a come-from-behind victory over Grenada ( 19-21, 21-18 and 15-8). Grenada missed out on the medal podium and had to settle for 4th.

The overall seeding at the end of the tournament is as follows

1. Dominica  2. Antigua 3. Anguilla 4. Grenada 5. St. Lucia 6 St. Vincent 7. BVI 8. Bermuda

St. Kitts and St. Lucia through to ECVA U 19  Males Finals

Basseterre St. Kitts September 03, 2023 –  Both St. St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia  made the way to the finals of the ECVA beach Volley Male finals. The routes  to the finals were very similar, in that they both won their quarterfinals easily then were made to sweat in the semi.

St. Kitts first met Anguilla and won 2-0 with score of 21-11 and 21 -15. Then in their semifinal match up against Grenada they found themselves one down losing 18 – 21 in the first set. With the backing of a small partisan crowd the St. Kitts team roared back and took the other two sets 21 -17 and 15 -11

Meanwhile, St. Lucia knocked off St. Vincent and the Grenadines  21-15 and 21-9 in the quarterfinals. Then in the semis it was their Windward Island rivals (Dominica) that pushed them to bring out their best.

After sharing the first two sets  21-14 and 13-21 both teams rallied point for point in the third set  until St. Lucia was able to pull away in the crucial part of the decider eventually winning 15 -13.

Hence the St. Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis meet at 5 pm to determine the champion each having played 5 sets to get there.

Grenada males and Dominica females take top seed at ECVA U19 Beach Volleyball Day 1

Basseterre, St. Kitts September, 2nd – When the sand settled at the Marriot Beach on the Atlantic side of St. Kitts, it was Grenada males and Dominica females who took the pole positions in the male and female categories respectively at the end of day 1 in pool play.

In the male category, it was the Grenada team that surprised everyone with their dominance over their opponents. They were unbeaten winning by huge margins over BVI (21 -3 and 21 – 5) and comfortable margins (21- 12 and 21- 12 )over Bermuda.

St. Lucia too were unbeaten when they played their games against St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua Barbuda. The St. Kitts and Nevis opponents challenged for a while could not extend the fight losing 21 -12 and 21 -15.

However, Antigua and Barbuda made them sweat for almost every point but eventually, St. Lucia persevered winning 21-18 and 21 -16. It was this point ratio that gave Grenada the edge over St. Lucia.

Attaining the number 1 seed after being in this type of competition for the first time made Coach Deannedre John very pleased. “I am very proud of my boys as I think they listened and executed what I was trying to impart. I know it might get tougher as we go along but regardless of the outcome they have already made me proud”. She said.

In the female category, it was Dominica that eclipsed the 7 other teams for the top spot. They won comfortably against BVI (21-15 and  21-6)

Added to that,  they pipped archrival St. Lucia 2-1 after losing the first set (13-21, 21-15, and 15-6).

“We did well, very well, I was satisfied that the girls kept their composure and executed when it was necessary”.  Coach Joseph Florent said.

Matches continue on Sunday 3rd September including quarter-finals, semis, and finals in both categories to determine the eventual winners

St. Kitts and Nevis Welcomes ECVA U19 Beach Volleyball Tournament

Basseterre, St. Kitts September, 2nd – Everyone lauded the idea of having a male and female competition in this age category with the long-time objective of having the best ECVA team compete in the World Youth Games in 2025.

Nine male teams and eight female teams will compete with each other and the eventual winner in the long run will get the opportunity to compete as an ECVA entity in the NORCECA segment of the World Youth games (U21) in 2025.

Consequently, there was a common theme among all the coaches. It is mainly about development but winning was a secondary objective.

Coach Alli Settle of Bermuda was excited about the proposal being played out. “This is definitely about development for us as we have brought some new girls and boys to this competition, but of course, along the way, we hope to win some games.” She said.

Jason Liburd coach of the Anguilla team said that it was a great idea. “The introduction of this competition aligned itself with the goals and objectives for volleyball in Anguilla as we too try to grow the sport. Also, it comes at a time when we are preparing for an indoor competition in October. Hence it is all about the transferring of skills from the hard court to the sands”. He intimated

Rick Swann, the head coach of the beach volleyball teams in St. Kitts and Nevis had this to say. “Every time one enters a competition one wants to win but for these boys, it is an opportunity to grow and learn each time they step onto a court”. He said

The view of first-time Deanne John of Grenada was an assessment of progress while in competition. “I believe in exposure, I think it is a good initiative and a chance for us to learn and grow and improve next time around. It will be their first time in a competition like this hence there will be no pressure just to do their best”. She concluded.

Olsen Joseph o Antigua and Barbuda was focused both on the long term and the present. “We are hoping to do well but this is also a pilot project so we are looking to see where we are so we can chart a development course. I think it a great idea as by the time we get to the U 21 level we can compete”. He said.

“We are cautiously optimistic in a competition of this nature. This is a combination of both wanting to win as well as development. We have just one experienced person on each team and so the focus is also building”. Said  Sheldon Nicholas of St. Lucia.

Coach Arnel Horn of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was excited over the prospect of playing in this tournament. This is definitely about development but we want to win a few games along the way.  This is an ideal opportunity for them to learn as it is their first time and so they are all ecstatic” He Stated.

Coach of the Dominica team Yan Joseph Florent’s eyes lit up when he was asked for his opinion. “It’s not just a good idea it’s a great idea as it gives us a chance to learn and grow. Both teams are new to the sand and it’s now an opportunity for them to apply what they learned. He noted.

Matches in both males and females begin simultaneously on September 2nd at 9 a.m. on the sands of the Atlantic Beach now known as the Marriott Beach. There, the nervousness will dissipate and competition will be in full swing.