Vice-President of the Demerara Volleyball Association (DVA) Ian Wills said some of the performances during the recent Secondary School’s tournament, though thoroughly unexpected was encouraging nonetheless as the association seeks to blood players for the future.
Wills, a former national player, during an interview with Stabroek Sports yesterday hailed the spirited exhibition of volleyball shown by the students of the Georgetown Secondary Schools over the past few weeks.
Underdogs Queen’s College toppled a strong Marion Academy side 5-15, 16-14, 15-12 to claim the title when the tournament climaxed Saturday.
“The overall feeling from the association is that we’re totally satisfied because we’ve gotten more than we expected. When it started the general response, especially from the out-of-town teams, was that they didn’t play much volleyball but during the latter part of the tournament those same teams showed a higher level of play,” said Wills.
He added that the improvement from the teams were monitored in-between games explaining that while schools started out a bit shakily, the level of play increased as the tournament progressed, something Wills said was because he believed most schools did extra work even after the rounds ended.
Wills also said that he was certain that in the near future most of the young players from the participating teams will be playing higher levels of volleyball. Apart from Queen’s College, Wills also mentioned the powerhouse side St Rose’s High School who he said was tipped to win the title.
He also singled out QC’s Omari Joseph for his performances in the semi-final and final.
“I think those schools played high levels of volleyball so it’s a credit to the coaches who played a part in the competition,” said Wills.
He also spoke of the selections of the male and female Under-19 and 23 teams to be picked for the upcoming South American Championships tournament.
Speaking about the first assignment which spikes off from June 18 to 25 in Colombia, the senior coach said plans were already in motion for the event.
“Demerara has named 30 boys to try out for the national side and they will be playing next Saturday against Berbice in an Inter County match at the Gymnasium,” he said.
“After selecting the players to try out for national teams, the Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) will then send the male and female teams to the championships which will be held a few months from now in Colombia and Peru.”
In addition, Wills said that the national selectors have seen enough talent over the course of the schools’ competition to have
nominated two players including Joseph as potential U19 National players.
Apart from blooding potentially new players for the future, Wills said that another critical aim was to ensure a platform for the development of the sport from the grassroots level was established.
“We recognize that there was no school tournaments and the level was dropping so we wanted to create a pool of players to feed the local clubs for potential national teams,” he said.
Wills said that himself and GVF president John Flores were in talks to include Physical Education teachers on the upcoming International Level One Course set for August as part of the FIVB, the world body’s mandate.
He also added that the 30-man team will work along with the senior coaches of the DVF in order to further polish their raw skills. The 30-man squad will be working with senior coaches this week ahead of the upcoming tournaments which will allow them to polish their techniques, he declared.