Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, Entertainment, People & Places » U-21 Female Volleyball Team Going for Gold in Central American Championship
Jul 11, 2022

U-21 Female Volleyball Team Going for Gold in Central American Championship

Team Belize is ready to compete in the nineteenth U-twenty-one Female Central American Volleyball Championship which will be hosted from July twelfth to the sixteenth at the Belize City Civic Center. Belize has always done well in the sport, winning silver in the women’s category back in 2018, then the under-twenty-three and under-eighteen in 2019. So Team Belize is going for gold this year. The team is made up of a few veterans and a seventeen-year-old libero as captain. On Friday night, the media got an opportunity to see the team practice. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

With the resurgence of contact sports across the region, the nineteenth U-21 Central American Volleyball Championship has been given the green light and is being hosted in Belize.  Ahead of the games, which start this Tuesday, July twelfth, there was a dressed rehearsal at the Belize City Civic Center.


Allan Sharp

Allan Sharp, President, Belize Volleyball Association

“We just finished doing the full protocol of the introduction. We have the team ready to go. This is their final full speed practice. We have some senior girls and senior guys playing against them to get them ready. So full, ready to go, final practice, everybody is excited, we are all ready to go. This year we are hosting the U-21 Female Central American Championship. Last time we were in this building, it rocked, the people rocked, Belize rocked and we are hoping to see that again.”


For the better part of a year, and then more rigorously over the last few months, the fourteen female athletes who make up Team Belize have been on a strict schedule, training twice a day, perfecting their techniques.


Allan Sharp

“Anytime you are talking sports and to be at this level, it requires a tremendous amount of effort. It hasn’t been like in past years. Normally it takes at least one year of full training, but this year, the girls have been training together since the beginning of the year and some of them have been together since they opened up from COVID. So that’s the kind of level and they practice right now like six times a week. So that’s a lot of training. They get one day off, everyday plus twice on Saturday.”


While COVID has affected the region, the other competing countries have had an advantage as they opened before us and their teams have had a chance to participate in some tournaments. But Team Belize is equally skilled – several members have overseas experience, not to mention, we have the home court advantage once again. Leading the under-twenty-one team this year is the libero, seventeen-year-old Sofia Solano. She’s the next to the shortest player on the team, but her ball-control and defensive skills are top notch.


Sofia Solano

Sofia Solano, Captain, Team Belize

“It’s an honor to represent our country Belize and we’re going to play as hard as we can. We are practicing a lot, and I mean a lot. We’ve been training a lot of this and I think that we are ready to show Belize what we are made of. Prior to this, liberos couldn’t be captain so to me it is a surprise. I’m like I am the captain now, I can do that. So it is a bit of a pressure, but I feel that all of the team members are very close and I think it is easy to encourage each other and be leaders everybody as a team. Team to look out for? Besides us, I would say it would be Honduras and Guatemala.”


Gareth Bruce is back from Eastern Wyoming College in the United States. You may recall that she was one of two female volleyball players who received athletic scholarships last year.  She’s the shortest member on the team, but makes up for it when she elevates and spikes. Bruce says she is incorporating what she has been learning overseas to the team.


Gareth Bruce

Gareth Bruce, Outside Hitter, Team Belize

“I’ve been on a million and one national team before so it is not my first. Going to college and studying abroad and playing with a higher level, being like a D-one school, it has given me more experience to a higher level. So coming back home and playing with the team I grew up with is very amazing. My expectation for the team is to compete well and to place good in the tournament. I’ve always been the more loud and more cheering person on the team because past tournaments I’ve had the role of captain so it is a big part on me. And now I am the co-captain for the team so what I’ve learned at college has been a great impact to me and to the team. I’ve learned how to play smarter against bigger blockers, bigger opponents. And I think teams like Honduras and Guatemala; it is going to be real helpful for us and the team.”


Duane Moody

“You’re the shortest one.”


Gareth Bruce

“I get that a lot. I jump really high so that covers for it.”


Belize Volleyball Association President Allan Sharp says Belize’s first match will be on the opening day against Nicaragua.


Allan Sharp

“It’s five straight nights of matches; two match every night starting Tuesday through Saturday. Belize plays on Tuesday against Nicaragua. We have Wednesday off; Thursday against El Salvador, Friday against Honduras and then Saturday night against Guatemala.”


The games start seven-thirty p.m. every night and the team captain is asking for support.


Sofia Solano

“I really want to send this message to Belize. Please we need your support; we need to hear your voices, the passionate voices of our community cheering us on. It makes a huge difference. I mean as players just imagine hearing a whole stadium cheering for you that gives us more motivation to play harder. So please come out and show your support.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


Tickets are available for sale at the Civic Center Ticket Booth from eleven a.m. to eight p.m. at ten dollars general admission, five dollars

for children under twelve


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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed