Lenox Shuffler, who yesterday officially stepped down as President of the Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) prior to his 75th birthday exhibition tournament held at the National Gymnasium, said his successor John Flores is the right man for the job.
The mini exhibition was held in recognition of Shuffler’s 75th birthday anniversary and featured some of the country’s top teams such as Port Mourant Training Centre (PMTC), Young Achievers, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Park Rangers, University of Guyana (UG), among others.
Speaking with Stabroek Sports, Shuffler, who has been serving the Federation for nearly three terms since 2001, said he felt like it was time to pass the mantle to someone younger, efficient and as knowledgeable as he is in the sport.
“Stepping down now was timely, volleyball needs new energy to propel the fraternity forward, however they will still have my guidance until the end of the year when we have our elections,” said Shuffler.
Flores who holds the rank of Coast Guard Commander in the GDF has been involved with the sport for over two decades and is trained in areas of advanced coaching and playing, which led Shuffler to tip him as the man for the future. Shuffler explained that due to the upcoming volleyball congress which is set for Brazil a few months from now, he decided to step down and immediately appoint Flores who he said has shown great diversity over the years, giving him the “feel of the presidency” and the international exposure he will endure in the future. “John portrays a guy who has the ability to get things done, he understands the game and the ramifications of being president, apart from that he is also a member of the GDF which affords him a support of a group which is second to none”, the former President said.
After an emotional yet still seemingly elated Shuffler concluded his interview with this newspaper, he was treated to a top class display of the sport he loves by top club Young Achievers who ended the night on a high after routing opponents PMTC and GDF.
The army boys edged the Ancient County PMTC team 25-23 and 27-25. PMTC depended heavily on National player Quacy Matheson for some magic. National player Creston Rodney gave his team a much needed win over the Young Achievers who overcame the army after 26-24 and 25-22.
This win set up a mouthwatering final encounter between PMTC and Achievers. Both teams were not at full strength but still managed to take each other to the wire during their encounter. Matheson gave the Berbice side much needed confidence in the match after setting up brilliant plays which gave his team the advantage, ending with scores 25-15.
But Wendell Austin and Rodney managed to bounce back in the second phase by ruthlessly evening the odds with a 22-2 second round win. The third and final round saw the Achievers mauling their opponents by means of near-perfect serves enforced by brutal spikes which led to them clinching the match 25-6.