Six Belizean athletes will compete in the upcoming 19th Central American Men’s and Women’s beach volleyball championship. The Championship will be held here in Belize at Kukumba Beach, Old Belize starting from August 16-18. As the team gets ready for the event we got a chance to talk to them today at a press conference held by the Belize Volleyball Association. Allan Sharp is the President of the Volleyball Association, who told us about the possibilities this championship can bring.
Allan Sharp – President of the Volleyball Association: “Before we speak about the current one which is the big one, we have invested a lot this year, especially the men’s team went to the Continental Beach Volleyball Tour where they played in Aguas Calientes Mexico, they played in Varadero Cuba, they played in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, they played in Managua Nicaragua so we try to get them to play against very high-level teams where we did very well. For the first time we won matches at the Continental tour which we have never done before, so these guys are pretty ready so now upcoming is the present tournament which is the Central American Beach Volleyball Tournament Championship for 2019 being held at Kukumba Beach Old Belize and that is the major thing we have been gearing at for the past year. From this tournament we hope that we can get qualifications from other tournaments. Once we rank high we get high points to rank towards future tournaments. Next year, for example, there is the Commonwealth Games which has its qualification system but the year after that is the Central American games so as some of the players mentioned and the coach mentioned over the past years we have started to grow and now is the time to take that into further competitions and growth as, to keep growing.
The athletes were also excited to talk about how volleyball has impacted their lives, so much so that one of them plans on going pro in Canada.
Clara Sabal – Beach Volleyball Team 1: “ It has positively impacted me because I left the country for school. I went to the University of the West Indies and during my time there I played on the Volleyball team and after two years I was given a full athletic scholarship with the University so just because of the impact of volleyball and having recommendations from people here in Belize it helped to basically fund my education.”
Bryton Codd – Beach Volleyball Team 1: “ This year I started representing the National Team in Beach Volleyball. It has impacted life tremendously. Right now I am on Volleyball Scholarship in Canada and I look forward to going professional next year in volleyball so definitely something that I look to take on as a job. I think one of the messages that I would leave with any young person is to get active, pick up a ball, don’t pick up a gun. Get involved and just explore your talent, sports can take you a long way through life with the guidance and the leadership that we have we could offer that support to those young people as well.”
Francis Hiuze – Beach Volleyball Team 1: “For the youths just try to stay focused and work hard. A sport can do a lot for you, like for me I’m from the St. Martin’s De Porres area and Volleyball has helped me to stay out of trouble and meet new friends, new friends will impact your life and you will continue on from there in life.”
Sharp noted that they have seen positive growth in their athletes and that there is still room for improvement which they are working towards. /////