Speid begins institutional strengthening of volleyball in Jamaica

St James Volleyball Association (SJVA) was established during a meeting held at Corinaldi Avenue Primary School last Friday. The appointed interim board members were George Douglas, president; Donald Martin, vice-president; Ricardo Williams, general secretary; Latoya Calvin-Williams, treasurer; Roan McGrowder, Beach Volleyball manager; Adrian Clarke, Competitions manager; and Andre Neil, Coaches manager.

Speid informed the new board that his vision was to professionalise, popularise and commercialise the sport of volleyball (in all its genres) in Jamaica. He outlined several imminent volleyball plans in which the parish associations will play vital roles, including the hosting of the Caribbean Youth Championship (boys) in July, and the launch of a new Premier Club League in March, to which clubs from parish-level competitions will have a chance to qualify in place of relegated teams.

“The parish associations will play an integral role in our efforts to effect better administration of volleyball across Jamaica,” said Speid. “We currently have over a thousand children islandwide who participated in the primary-level school championship and are going to high schools who do not play volleyball. Your charge will be to not only influence the participation of more high schools in the ISSA-run competitions, but to be the catalyst for the formation of under-age clubs that guarantee the volleyball fraternity continued development of our talent pool.”

Douglas, who currently coaches Mobay Community College Intercollegiate team, expressed his passion for the development of volleyball in St James. “Prior to the initiation of the discussions to form a parish association, McGrowder, other volleyball enthusiasts in Mobay and I were finalising plans to form a club to enter the JAVA club competitions; so I was very enthralled when I heard of the plan of JAVA to go beyond what we were thinking,” Douglas told his new board.

He encouraged them to be energetic and purposeful about the efforts of SJVA to organise and popularise the sport in St James.

Major Warrenton Dixon, who spearheads developmental matters for JaVA, implored the board to protect the name and reputation of SJVA and its affiliated institutions. “Credibility is an asset that takes a very long time to mature and be harvested, but it may be completely eroded by a single act of indiscretion; I strongly encourage that all of us impregnate ourselves with an insatiable desire to protect the institution of volleyball locally and to the extent that we influence things internationally.”

The SJVA’s first order of business will be to organise children from the school competition into underage clubs, as well as organise community competitions.

The interim board will be in place until July 2016, at which point elections to fill board positions will be due.


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