High praise for volleyball association

The St Lucia Volleyball Association (SLVBA) hosted its annual awards night recently, recognizing and awarding achievements for the year 2011. The event took place at the Gros-Islet Secondary Schools Auditorium and new National Volleyball Training Facility.
Specially invited guests included Minister of Commerce, Business Development and Consumer Affairs and District Representative, Emma Hippolyte; Ambassador to CARICOM, Dr June Soomer; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Donovan Williams; and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Joanna Raynolds-Arthurton.
Williams the surprise guest speaker for the evening, congratulated and commended the SLVBA for their achievements over the years and also issued words of encouragement.
He said: “Volleyball is one of the associations that continue finding ways to motivate, mobilize not just resources but people in a variety of different ways. A lot of associations are what I call cap in hand associations. They don’t seem to be able to do anything unless somebody puts something in their cap and normally it puts a tremendous strain on the ministry to be able to provide that level of resource to so many different associations.”
He pointed out that the volleyball association is the exception and is always looking for ways to mobilize resources and bring persons into the fold. Williams feels other associations should take a page from their book especially now “during this tight economic climate.”
Minister Hippolyte was full of praise for the SLVBA and was impressed by the fact they took what she called “a bold initiative,” in changing the use of a public facility {Gros Islet Secondary School Gymnasium} and making more effective use of it. That facility which now has a new surface is the primary training facility for the national volleyball team.
Ambassador Soomer who is a former volleyball player, did something very special for the volleyball association on behalf of her sister and former national player Angie, who is the sport’s biggest and loudest cheerleader.
Soomer announced to deafening applause, that next year she would provide two cash awards of $1,000 each to the male and female, exhibiting the same qualities as her sister who is extremely passionate about the game.
The presentation of awards showcased accolades from youth to the senior level. The award recipients are as follows: Youth Male Volleyball Player of the Year – Agustin Faulkner; Youth Female Volleyball Player of the Year – Dala Noel; Junior Male Volleyball Player of the Year – Julian Bissette; Junior Female Volleyball Player of the Year – Lyn Francis; Senior Male Volleyball Player of the Year  – Jason Octave;
Second Place, Male Division 2011 Bank of St Lucia Guy Brown Memorial League – Dig Set Point Volleyball; Second Place, Female Division 2011 Bank of St Lucia Guy Brown Memorial League – Le Club Volleyball’s A Team; Champions, Male Division 2011 Bank of St Lucia Guy Brown Memorial League – Jetsetters Volleyball who dominated for the fourth consecutive year; Champions, Female Division 2011 Bank of St Lucia Guy Brown Memorial League – Le Club Volleyball’s B Team.

Minister Emma Hippolyte (centre) with members of the female youth volleyball team.

Special mention and tokens of appreciation were presented to the following major supporters of the sport; President of NORCECA Cristibal Marte Hoffiz; President of the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association, Glenn Quinlan; Former Minister of Sports, Leonard Montoute; Officials with the Ministry of Youth & Sports, Donovan Williams and Joanna Raynolds Arthurton; The St Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority; Sean Mathew, Metro Construction, Mr George and the principal and staff of the Gros Islet Secondary School.
The Gros-Islet Secondary School and the SLVBA are entering into a partnership. The school gymnasium will be utilized to house the National Volleyball Training Facility and in return will gain assistance to its school volleyball and sports program. The Gros-Islet Secondary School was provided with volleyball equipment as part of that assistance. A coach will be identified to work with the school in volleyball development. A volleyball program is to be established for children in the Gros Islet Community and the school will be used as the centre and reach out to the Gros Islet Infant and Primary School, Monchy Primary School and private schools in the area. Summer and Saturday clinics will also be organized.
President of the SLVBA, Brian Louisy and Minister Hippolyte cut the ribbon to declare the National Volleyball Training Facility Open. Louisy successfully served the first ball in the which capped off a highly successful affair by the SLVBA.

Former national player Rebecca Flerimus (l) received this trophy from Deputy Permanent Secretary Joanna Raynolds-Arthurton on behalf of Le Club B and Le Club A who placed first and second respectively in the Female Division of the Bank of St Lucia Guy Brown Memorial League.

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