Fri | May 7, 2021

JAVA eager to enhance programme

Published:Friday | April 9, 2021 | 12:14 AMLivingston Scott - Gleaner Writer

Trinidad and Tobago’s Sinead Jack (left) and Renele Forde (right) go up to attempt a block on Jamaica’s Danaisha Moss, during the 2017 Caribbean Volleyball Championships at the National Indoor Centre in Jamaica.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Sinead Jack (left) and Renele Forde (right) go up to attempt a block on Jamaica’s Danaisha Moss, during the 2017 Caribbean Volleyball Championships at the National Indoor Centre in Jamaica.
Cowan
Cowan
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At the recent historic International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) virtual congress, President Ary Graca announced a new volleyball empowerment project, an initiative that will draw significant financial investment from a new partnership with CVC Capital Partners, which was also launched at the congress.

The partnership with CVC Capital is aimed at elevating the sport to new professional standards and bringing commercial opportunities and benefits to volleyball and beach volleyball athletes, fans and federations.

The empowerment project will see the mother organisation allocating resources to member associations based on their world status, from categories one through to five, to unlock their full potential.

Jamaica Volleyball Association (JAVA) president, Jackie Cowan, believes the plans are all positive, but said the association will have to get the full details of the project before making a proper assessment of its true potential benefits.

“It was announced at congress but we haven’t received any details of what it will entail and how the national associations will actually benefit. So right now we don’t know what the terms of the partnership are,” Cowan told The Gleaner.

“What the FIVB did was separate the marketing and advertising commitments and put them into this new entity (Volleyball World). This new group will focus on marketing, and by doing that, they hope to have more money coming into FIVB, which we are hoping will be passed down to us,” she added.

Although national associations are yet to receive the full information on the terms of the project, she thinks it is a practical idea nonetheless.

“We would like to see what it actually is so we can make representation from our side to see how we access what is available. We are hoping it is funds, as we are always in the need of funding, but there is also an empowerment aspect to it and we are not sure if that means more courses, more education, more opportunities for us at the national federation level and to participate (more) at the international level,” Cowan continued.

The Volleyball World entity will become the commercial institution for the sport around the world. Its aim is to work alongside other leagues and federations to increase the sport’s profile and popularity, through fresh investment for the benefit of fans, players and national federations.

Volleyball World will also be responsible for the commercial operation of international volleyball and beach volleyball events, including the World Championships, Olympic qualifiers and the Nations League.

The partnership will focus on event hosting, fan experience, media, data/digital opportunities and sponsorship to grow commercial revenues for reinvestment to ensure the long-term success of the sport, Graca explained during the congress.

But despite the promise of a brighter volleyball future by the FIVB president, Cowan insists her association will not sit around and wait on the project.

Jamaica is a category two NORCECA country and is ranked 91 in the world. They are seen as a developing nation, and Cowan said JAVA’s short-term objective is to improve their professional status and get closer to category five, the highest category.

“We are not really waiting on that because we are doing what we need to do. What we are hoping is that whatever benefits we get will enhance our programme. For our volleyball to be able to do that (reach professional level), we have to be on the world circuit and our athletes have to get that sort of funding,” Cowan noted.

“Our main priority is to improve our ranking within North America, and once we do that we can move forward,” she added.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com