By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
While a female Volleyball team was preparing to return to the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association Championships for the first time since 2014 this week, Stephen Payne announced on Thursday’s Sports Beat Magazine on CBN 90.9 FM, that he and two other executive committee members have tendered their resignation from the post to which they were elected in February 2021, through 2025—some 19 months ago.
Payne, who took the helm as President, Vice President Canis Marquis and Treasurer Annabelle Skelton-Malone, are no longer executives of the association. When asked what is happening in Volleyball, after discussing the Recreation Trust’s plans, Payne, operations manager with the body responded:
“I probably have to share this in the public right now, but I tendered my resignation as President and it became effective October 1st,” Payne revealed. “However, I’m still pretty much involved with volleyball, just not sitting at the helm.”
Payne said the other members are pretty much in tack, minus himself and Vice President Canis Marquis and later stated that Treasurer Annabelle Skelton-Malone, had also resigned. He said an Annual General Meeting is to be called to have someone sit in those positions. “Right now, the go to person is general secretary, Kisheba Sprauve-Callwood. Currently, I’m the head national coach and we’ll be heading off to a tournament in St. Martin, for the ECVA Sr. Female Volleyball Tournament, from Oct 12-17.”
Payne also apologized for a ‘lack of information’ in the public domain regarding the team, ‘pretty much’ because of an ‘inactive public relations officer.’ He added that volleyball is still being played, but in relation to direction and who sits at the helm, there’s no one right now in terms of an elected president and vice president. Besides Sprauve-Callwood, Rockel Woods, Assistant Secretary, Maria Drigo, Assistant Treasurer, Players Rep, Caldon “Reno” Morton, Kiah Walters, Public Relations Officer and Sabinah Clement, ex Officio member remain as active executive members.
Payne stated that his resignation doesn’t stop him from being involved in the direction the sport goes. “My resignation was fueled by some dynamics outside of volleyball itself and I thought it best that I distance myself from the leadership of the executive, not necessarily distancing myself from volleyball,” he explained. “I’ve been involved in volleyball from the time I was 11 years old, so I just could not continue leading an association at this time. I might vie some other time in the future, but I think it was critical that I step away from the volleyball association for some personal reasons.”
He said he will still be around volleyball in whichever capacity he feels like doing and said one of his desires now is to push youth volleyball with the help of Jackie Weeks, to ensure they will have candidates that will further allow the BVI Volleyball Association to participate in not only senior competitions, but Under 19s, beach volleyball. There’s also senior men and women, junior men and women and World Championships qualifiers.
“There are a number of things we haven’t been looking at because of the failure to develop youth programs,” Payne noted. “So we have a cohort of young people now buying on to volleyball and I think that’s where my focus will be, once I return from St. Martin.”
Meanwhile, the BVI Women’s team—ranked lowest in the region because of inactivity since 2014—faced St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda in their first ECVA matches. They will face St. Eustatius today. The team Captain is Henrietta “Henri” Alexander of Raw Power. It also includes: Rockel Woods, Phoenix; Makela Powell, Elite; Sharonda Pickering, Elite; Ladonna Woodley, Vixens; Amodonna Crease, Phoenix; Zoe Richards, Crush Dem: Mario Drigo, Raw Power; Lauren Welch, Raw Power; Shalique Fahie, Phoenix. Manager Jackie Weeks. Payne is Head Coach and Denfield “Doc” Solomon, Assistant Coach.