Inaugural beach volleyball league to serve as catalyst
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
President of the Jamaica Volleyball Association Major Warrenton Dixon, is hoping that the staging of the inaugural JustBet/TVJSN Beach Volleyball League will serve as a catalyst towards the achievement of the association's dream to participate in all upcoming major championships, including the 2016 Olympics.
The league, which was launched on Tuesday at the Arena Sports Bar, Acropolis, Barbican, is slated to serve off on October 6 and run until November 3 with all matches to be played at the Barbican Beach Complex.
The games are to be played on Saturdays and Sundays with play set to commence at 1 p.m. and go up to 7 p.m.
There will be a break in action on October 27 and 28 to accommodate players who are members of the national senior men's volleyball team that will be competing in the first round of the 2014 World Volleyball Championships qualifiers in Curacao.
"The dream of the association is bigger than the next Olympics," Dixon said. "Our vision is to participate in all major international events. It will take us stages to get there, but the Olympics is one of the immediate objectives that we are looking at and we are definitely hoping that this tournament will provide an opportunity for that."
The tournament will feature six male teams and seven female teams. Two of the top male teams set to feature are young sensation Ryck Webb and his partner Gatasheu Bonner and the pair of Dellan Brown and Donovan Richards. On the female side there is the top female team of Cherine Richards and Cheryl Daley and the pair of overseas based Danielle Perry and her local based partner Cherie Thompson.
Supreme Ventures Limited senior marketing officer - sports betting, Andrei Roper, explained why his company has pumped $1 million into the staging of the league.
"Our Supreme Ventures sports betting brand JustBet is the title sponsor for the Barbican Beach Sports Complex, the venue for the tournament and we are looking to generate more events, more excitement and more fan interaction around activities at that venue," Roper said. "We want to build that venue as a place where fans can come in and watch quality events and get quality sports entertainment. The beach volleyball league is a ground-breaking product and we are going to use the opportunity to help to develop the sport."
Patrick Anderson, group head of sports for the RJR Communications Group, believes the covering of the league is in keeping with the vision he has for the sports network.
"The TVJ Sports Network is indeed very happy to be a part of this venture and it speaks to our getting back to what I would like to believe is the core of what we do," Anderson stated. "At the heart of what we ought to be doing is live coverage of sporting events locally and internationally."