BUOYED by support from the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), the nation’s men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams are continuing their quest for a place at Paris 2024, during competition at the North, Central America and Caribbean Confederation (NORCECA) Beach Volleyball Tour.
They will first serve off in Hato Mayer, Dominican Republic, in one of the two remaining NORCECA tournaments for the year. This championship started yesterday and runs until Sunday. It will be followed the following week by the final NORCECA Tour engagement for 2022, in the Cayman Islands, with competition set for November 10-14
The aim of the NORCECA Tour is for the countries to improve their rankings and gain points to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC), which are pivotal tournaments in the qualification process for the Olympic Games.
Jacqueline Cowan, president of the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA), expressed gratitude to the JOA “not just for financial assistance, but the commitment to ensuring that our beach volleyball teams have an opportunity to qualify for regional and international competitions by improving our ranking”.
With the exception of the first tour, through assistance from the JaVA teams have been able to participate in all the NORCECA tournaments, and finished ahead of all the participating countries. This they have done despite being able to field only a men’s team in Cuba and only their women’s team in Mexico, in competitions held in May.
Ryan Foster, CEO/general secretary of the JOA, said they are pleased with the team’s successes.
“The JOA is happy with the direction of our volleyball team. We believe that we have a realistic opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Olympics and as such we have invested in supporting this goal,” said Foster.
“We have seen the success of the last Olympic Games and the JOA’s investment with boxing and judo and the first-time medal of judo at Commonwealth Games,” Foster added, highlighting the positive development of Jamaican teams that they have provided special assistance in their goal of widening the country’s participation in Olympic sporting disciplines.
Both Jamaica’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams also participated earlier this year on the NORCECA Tour in the Dominican Republic, Canada and Nicaragua in the months of July, August and September.
This heightened activity comes after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when the other regional teams were busy campaigning for points in the race towards the next Olympic Games.
The Olympic cycle started in 2020, at which time many of the NORCECA teams seeking a path to the Olympic Games were active in competition, thus gaining an advantage by being able to secure ranking points that go towards Olympic qualification.