President of the Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) Lennox Shuffler said that the success of the inaugural edition of the Tradewind Tankers International Invitational Volleyball tournament is an indicator of the progressive development of the sport locally in the near future.
Shuffler said that the GVF’s new paradigm for the sport locally is “development through activity” and the recently-concluded tournament provided ample opportunity for activity on several levels. Apart from the fact that the staging of the international tournament allowed four different teams to benefit from the exposure, Shuffler said it also gave referees, coaches and other officials much needed exposure.
According to Shuffler, the tournament made it evident that there are many deficiencies in several areas in local volleyball. Luckily, Shuffler said that the experienced and knowledgeable visiting teams were kind enough to impart knowledge and advise the local fraternity so that they may be better in the future.
In spite of the obvious deficiencies, Shuffler said that it was motivating that even though Guyana is years behind the visiting nations (Suriname, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago) in terms of volleyball development, they were able to compete fairly well against the tougher opponents over the weekend.
“I was happy to see the scores in some of the games because, despite the fact that our players have no sort of exposure, they were still able to compete with those top teams,” Shuffler added.
The GVF president said that a competition of that magnitude gave local players an opportunity to see where their regional neighbours are in terms of talent and where they could be in the future. Reaching the level of the visiting teams from Suriname, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago, is very attainable according to Shuffler since Guyana was at that level during the 1960s and 1970s.
The strengthening of ties between the four nations is essential to Guyana’s development according to Shuffler. It is his intention to bridge the gap between the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) and the South American federation so that Guyana can compete with both Caribbean and South American territories in the most economic and feasible ways possible.
Shuffler said that Suriname has already invited Guyana to a training stint in the third week of January 2013. During their time, Guyana’s national compilation will have a chance to engage Suriname’s national team as both team looking to gain high level competitive experience.
Shuffler said that this is yet another huge step since Guyana’s national senior team has been inactive on the international scene for more than four years. Since all the top clubs competed in the Tradewind Tankers International Invitational Volleyball tournament, Shuffler said that the association will be shortlisting players based on their performances at that tournament to begin training for the national team. That team, once chosen, will compete in Suriname next year as well as other subsequent tournaments as part of the GVF’s development through activity approach.