Fri | Aug 7, 2020

Speid welcomes int’l volleyball suspension

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2020 | 12:14 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Speid
Speid

Jamaica Volleyball Association President Rudolph Speid says that the International Volleyball Federation’s decision to suspend the senior World Championships and all other events for 2020 is a good one.

Speid pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic has seriously restricted each country’s ability to train or host tournaments.

At a recent Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) meeting in July, the president, Mushtaque Mohammed, explained that the decision was taken due to the continuing impact of the virus. As a result, all major championships such as the CAZOVA U23 Championship, which was set for the Dominican Republic in June; the Olympic Qualification semi-finals, which were scheduled for Nicaragua from the August 27-29; the NORCECA Beach Tour, which is hosted by Jamaica each November; and the CAZOVA 2020 World Championships qualifiers have been suspended.

PLANS SHELVED

“We were trying to come up with a plan. We were working with some stakeholders on a plan to rebuild the (national) team to compete internationally, but COVID-19 came, and those plans were shelved. We usually keep a NORCECA Beach Tour in November, which is a staple on Jamaica’s volleyball calendar for the last few years ... . So yes, it (postponement) is good because volleyball is one of the sports that struggle because it doesn’t have a lot of support. When sponsors look at what they are going to do with less money, they are going to go for the more popular sports, they are not going to back volleyball, so the smaller sports that are not popular are going to get a beating,” Speid stated.

“USA got hit hard, Mexico is in one of worst COVID-19 states in the world right now, and Canada and the Dominican Republic got hit, so all the powerhouses got hit hard,” said Speid, who added that while the entire fraternity is affected by the current crisis, the focus is on following government guidelines.

“There is nothing we can do. We just have to go by what the Government outlines. We just have to wait because it’s still life over sports. All the countries that try to come back too early, you saw what happened to them. So we have to approach this smartly because you cannot fix your economy if you are not on top of COVID-19, and we are doing well at the moment, so we just have to be patient as these are not normal times,” said Speid.