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Jun 25, 2019

The National Female Volleyball Team to Compete in Olympic Qualifying Games

The Belize National Female Volleyball Team is in the news tonight for good reason. Its stellar performance against bigger and seasoned teams in the region is opening new opportunities for them. The national team is getting ready to compete in qualifying games for the volleyball Olympics. So in October, the team heads to Puerto Rico for the Continental Championship where it takes on other teams from the Americas. News Five’s Duane Moody caught up with President Allan Sharp. Here is that report.

 

Allan Sharp, President, Belize Volleyball Association

“Belize, I can’t think of when last we had an opportunity in any sport to be right next to going to the Olympics at a team sport level.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Back in August of 2018, the Belize National Female Volleyball Team made history when it beat Costa Rica and went on to win the silver medal in the Central American Volleyball Championships. Well it would seem that their performance in that regional tournament has caught the attention of the officials at the Continental Championship and team Belize has been invited to compete for the first time in a qualifying matchup for the Olympics in volleyball. It will also determine the country’s rank in the sport.

 

Allan Sharp

“Historic for us and for Belize, the females, who did so well last year, have now qualified to the Pan American Cup as well as to the Continental Championship. Unfortunately, the Pan American Cup is right here in July and we are not in a position to send a team right away. We have so much happening this summer right here with other national teams. But the one in October we are pushing very hard to make sure we get there because that competition is next to the Olympics so after that you go to the Olympics.”

 

The Continental Championship takes place in Puerto Rico from October sixth to the fourteenth. Outside of the invite, roundtrip tickets for the players have been extended to team Belize to ensure its participation. But the team will be competing against the best from across the Americas and the Caribbean so Belize Volleyball Association President, Allan Sharp, says that our athletes now studying overseas will also be recalled for this opportunity.

 

Allan Sharp

“We think this is a chance of a lifetime for us in Belize and for each and every athlete. This is not something that comes around very often. It takes a lot of work to get here and then this is an opportunity that we have in front of us. We want to push hard with our girls that did so well last year. So we are trying to get back some of our players who have gone on to university with opportunities. We are trying to bring back Shantelle from a university in London; we are trying to get the two young ladies out of the University of the West Indies; we have another one in the U.S.; some that are about to leave to go to school…Cory and some others that are about to go, hopefully they can get the time-off. We are looking for everybody to get time off and try to find Belizean athletes that can grab at this opportunity, train.”

 

Sharp says that in terms of logistics, they are already in the process of ensuring that there is access to facilities for training to commence for the athletes. With approximately three months to prepare,

 

Allan Sharp

Allan Sharp

“Facility is a challenge. But we have Belize Elementary School booked out probably solid. Miss Lupita Quan helping us out with the Star Gym and with her help, she has been putting in tremendous help at the Star Gym. We are looking forward to the new facility that is next to the Marion Jones grandstand to finish cause we can obviously use that because we do not have enough space even for the amount of teams training.”

 

Sharp says that the association is seeking financial support in efforts to participate in the 2019 Continental Championship among other regional competitions that the other national teams have been qualified for. Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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