Antigua St. John’s – Twenty-two girls and 16 boys successfully completed the Volleyball Cooperation Programme (VCP) Young Players course held last week.
The course, a joint undertaking by the international volleyball body (FIVB) and the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Volleyball Association (ABAVA), was facilitated by Romanian coach Dan Girleanu.
“The forty-one persons enrolled was a record for such a course and posed an initial concern as to the size and the coach’s ability to manage the class effectively,” ABAVA said in a release. However, with the able assistance of the local coaches Henry Matthew, Rosie Lewis and Shorna Isaac all FIVB level one coaches “we were able to overcome the foreseen potential problems.”
Three of the youngsters were unable to complete the course for reasons entirely beyond their control, the release noted.
Over the intense five-day programme, participants were involved in gym and classroom sessions that explored topics such as the history and development of volleyball; overhand passing and serving; court defence; physical conditioning; spiking; and blocking, among others.
Coach Girleanu expressed his satisfaction with the organisation and the positive response by the young participants to the extent that he felt very much at home.
“I have issued 38 certificates and I state with all honesty that each one of you players have earned it,” he said in his closing remarks.
Also addressing the closing exercise on Friday were Mrs. Ann Jonas on behalf of the Ministry of Sports, Mr. Wilbur A. Harrigan, President of the Volleyball Association, Ms. Ashley Astherman, on behalf of the young female participants and Mr. Johnathan Jupiter on behalf of the young male participants.
Mrs. Jonas said she was elated by the strong foundation which has been laid in the school programme by the coaches and stated that the strong showing at the course can encourage the ministry to continue to support and strengthen the programme.
Harrigan, meanwhile, expressed his full appreciation of the level of professionalism, hard work and commitment exhibited by Coach Dan or Mr. G. as he was affectionately called by the participants, and for the support received from President Weir of FIVB, President Cristobal of NORCECA and President Glenn Quinlan of Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association.
He also noted that the commitment and dedication shown by the young players have left him with a sense of joy that volleyball will grow and will be a force to be reckoned with here in Antigua and Barbuda in the future.
Much appreciation was also shown to Mrs. Miriam Harrigan, who coordinated the refreshments.
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