By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Two teams from Tortola and one from Virgin Gorda, emerged winners from the 32 overall teams participating in Sunday’s Virgin Islands Volleyball Association Fun Day activities, held at Fishers Cove, Virgin Gorda.
In all, there were 14-2-on-2 female teams, 10-2-on-2 male teams and 8-4-on-4 coed teams. The Tortola quartet of Zebalon McLean, Chandi Wattley, Jacinta “JaJa” Weeks and Alston “Alo” Hanley, stopped Virgin Gorda’s Taliyah Miurhead, Daphne Sprauve, Rachel Ann Nape and Jose Martinez, for the 4-on-4 division.
The Tortola duo of Onel Duncan and Khajana Callwood, took the female 2-on-2 from Virgin Gorda’s Soumya “Mya” Sadananda and Rachel Ann Nape, while Virgin Gorda’s Jose David Martinez and German Gonzalez, prevented a Tortola sweep by snatching the 2-on-2 males title from Akeem Johnson and Reno Morton.
“The activity held on Virgin Gorda was deemed a successful one,” VI Volleyball Association President Stephen Payne, who was elected in February, told Island Sun Sports of the venture. “We were trying to build interest in the Volleyball community a couple weeks prior and we were successful in doing so. We had 52 persons from Tortola traveling to Virgin Gorda for the fun day.”
Payne said because of time constraints and having to catch a 6 p.m. return ferry, the 3-on-3 segment was dropped to allow the 4-on-4 to play, giving more people a chance to participate in the event.
“We have already been hearing from the groups on Tortola about having another event, but the premise is that it’s held in Tortola,” he pointed out. “While on Virgin Gorda speaking to the proprietor of Fishers Cove, they were saying it was a great success on their end, ‘when would you be scheduling the next one.’ Obviously, Virgin Gorda is a place where when it comes to spectators coming out to view sporting events, the count is very high. I’m figuring that had it not been for the protocols in relation to numbers that can be in one space, we might have had larger numbers.”
Payne said a suggestion has been put forward to having matches on Anegada to reintroduce volleyball there.
“We accomplished what we want to accomplish, in that the enthusiasm and the drive interest in the sport is being created and persons playing volleyball on a recreational level—it may be competitive—and that’s where we think we’re going,” he said.
When asked about plans for a similar activity at Long Bay, Beef Island, Payne said he knows of a group that plays recreational volleyball there, however they have to live with Covid and the facilities at Long Bay has some limitations in terms of coverage, where persons could go and watch games out of the sun. He added they’d need to look at running water for hygiene purposes and he knows there’s a restroom close by. Payne said once the dynamics get sorted, even the placement of the court, they could probably have beach tournaments at any beach that allows them to set up.
“One of the things we’re trying to push is beach volleyball and if we can get people interested, we can even look at doing trials and fielding male and female national teams that can represent the BVI, sometime in the future,” he said.