The 19th Central American Beach Volleyball Championship ended yesterday with Belize Team 1 placing fifth. First, second and third prize for both male and female went to Nicaragua, Guatemala and Costa Rica respectively. We spoke to Allan Sharp, President of the Belize Volleyball Association, who told us what lessons have been learned during this weekend’s games and how they are moving forward.
Allan Sharp, President of the Belize Volleyball Association: “I think had we had more experience, had we had more international experience going into this tournament especially if it was in the last month it would have very much helped our team to place higher. The top two teams that were placed were just recently in the Lima Pan American Games so they are peaking in their competitive level. The last international tournament we went to was a few months ago so that definitely affected us so we need to improve there. Like I said the guys especially did much better than before and we see that we were playing against teams that were full-time volleyball players. In the male, top teams are full-time volleyball players and then the female they may not be full time but they’re almost full-time volleyball players so I think we have to put a lot more emphasis on sport and trying to make sure that if we plan to compete at the medal area in any sport the players need to be full time.”
According to Sharp, while there is no shortage in the talent pool in volleyball, there is a need for better systems and mechanisms in Belize to enable the players.
Allan Sharp, President of the Belize Volleyball Association: “We have to get together as a sporting community and try to expose the role that sports can play in society, the important role, the very important role that it plays in society and second then to convince government that they must invest and be a partner, not the sole person because everybody sometimes or some people think that the government is supposed to pay but they have to be a part of it but I can’t see them taking over the whole cost so therein again comes the community. These players that are going to be full time have got to be paid by somebody and the only place it can come from is government and private sector. But both sides need to see results, both sides need to have players that are committed, both sides have to see the good that is going to come to the society.”
The Championship was held from August 16 to 18 at the Kukumba Beach at Old Belize.