What must national volleyball team do to receive recognition?


Senior Sports Reporter


GIVE credit where credit is due.

It’s a pity that the men’s national volleyball team’s gold medal performance at the Group A of the NORCECA 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship qualifier in Willemstad, Curacao, came at a time where the sporting community was mourning the loss of the greatest Bahamian track and field athlete.

The men’s team slipped into town on Monday night and like they did after winning the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Championship that was recently held in US Virgin Islands, St Croix, they didn’t have the fanfare that goes with their success.

With all of the cameras and dignitaries in the Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium for the memorial service for the late Thomas A Robinson, the men’s team returned home un-noticed again.

There was no mega reception in the VIP lounge at the Lynden Pindling International Airport. There was no motorcade to take them through the streets of New Providence. There were no celebrations hosted by the Bahamas Volleyball Federation either.

I guess the guys are probably asking what must they do to receive some recognition?

Two gold medal performances in six months and no celebrations yet.

It’s also understood that the federation’s first vice president Joseph ‘Joe Mo’ Smith had to secure an overdraft of some $15,000 from the bank just to ensure that the trip to Curacao was made possible. Now they have to find a way to pay off their debt before December 20.

I could only imagine how the players and coaches feel.

They’re on the verge of representing the Bahamas in the FIVB Men’s World Championships and I’m sure that they would like to know that they have the full support from the government to corporate sponsors in their quest to get the team sport the internatiomnal exposure that it has sorely lacked in the past.

Based on their performances so far, this is definitely one of the best teams that the federation has ever assembled. In fact, two members of the team, Prince Wilson and Byron Ferguson, have secured professional contracts to play overseas, something that has never been heard of in the past.

Wilson, by the way, was named as the most valuable player (MVP) while Ferguson carted off the best blocker award. The dynamic duo was joined by Renaldo Knowles, who picked up the best spiker award. Additionally, all three were named to the All-Tournament team.

With that kind of feat, I guess the players and coaches are still asking: What else do they need to achieve in order to get their just recognition?

The team indicated that they understand that everybody was paying their last respects at the memorial for Robinson. But they’ve been home almost a week now and still there has been no public announcement or acknowledgement from the powers that be regarding their accomplishment.

It’s even more disheartening to hear that federations are still having to take out loans to subsidise a national team trip.

Like someone said at another time, if this was a track and field team achieving that type of success, they would have definitely been greeted and honoured by now. But this is volleyball and such, their performance is not at the same level as that of track and field.

It doesn’t matter that it’s not the Carifta Games, the World Championships or the Olympics. What these players have done is definitely cause for celebrations. They have proven not just once, but twice that they are the cream of the crop in our region. They deserve their share of accolades heaped upon them.

What more do they have to do to be recognised.

Let’s give credit where credit is due.

Hats off to team members Renaldo Knowles, Prince Wilson, Byron Ferguson, Romel Lighbourne, Tony Simon, Ian ‘Wire’ Pinder, Endierich Rahming, Shadrick Forbes, Muller Petit, Jamaal Ferguson and Javari Southard. Coaches Raymond Wilson and DeVince Smith, as well as team manager Jermaine Adderley and federation executives Joe Mo Smith and Lloyd Davis must all be congratulated for a job well done.

The celebrations will come shortly.


The Our Lady’s Blue Flames couldn’t find a better way to close out their appearance in the Catholic Diocesan Primary Schools Basketball League on Wednesday at Loyola Hall.

The Flames, coached by Rophan Parks, capped off their second straight pennant winning season by winning their second title in school history. The latest feat was historic because it will go down in the record books as the final appearance for the school in the league.

Come June, Our Lady’s along with St Bede’s will be closed permanently by the Catholic Education Board.

So the Blue Flames decided that it was best for them to win their final title, which they did in grand style by sweeping the Xavier’s Giants in two straight games behind the most valuable player performance of Mateo Taylor and regular season MVP Dayton Albury.

Our Lady’s played like true champions and they earned the right to leave their mark on the league, just as the Crushers did in St Bede’s final regular season.

With less then 10 seconds left on the clock, Jorden Freemantle dribbled the ball over the half court line and threw up a shot to try to lift St Bede’s to victory.

Instead, the ball hit the rim and bounced over the top of the backboard. It jumped into the hands of Blaze Darling, who went up with the put back to score the winning basket as St Bede’s celebrated a 26-25 decision.

While the Crushers just missed out on making the playoffs after the St Cecilia’s Strikers routed the St Francis/Joseph Shockers to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot, the Blue Flames put the icing on the postseason with their sweep over Xavier’s to end the season on a high note.

And as many remember Our Lady’s for winning the title in their final season, don’t forget that St. Bede’s opened the league by winning the first two titles under coach Jerry Kanuka. The Crushers went on to win five more titles to sit on the table as the second winningest school in the history of the league.

As the season comes to a close, credit must be given to both Our Lady’s and St Bede’s for the contribution that they made to the success of a successful run in the Catholic Diocesan Primary Schools Basketball League, the most exciting league for primary schools in the country.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment