Jamaica's minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mrs. Olivia Grange together with NORCECA president, Mr. Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, and Jamaica Volleyball Association president, Major Warrenton Dixon, during the ceremony
Kingston, Jamaica, January 31, 2011 - Jamaican volleyball celebrated a significant step on the path to progress with the opening of a new outdoor facility at Kingston Sport Complex on Monday.
A donation from NORCECA, the facility features a synthetic playing surface built by the United States-based SportCourt, official floor supplier of the North, Central America and Caribbean volleyball confederation. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Major Warrenton Dixon, president of the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA), gave his thanks to Mr. Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, NORCECA president and the FIVB first executive vice-president.
He said: "It is a great day for Jamaica's volleyball and I want to thank Mr. Marte Hoffiz for the support of NORCECA. I hope the private corporations can join now our Volleyball Association and the Jamaica government in our efforts to develop the sport in the country."
The new facility forms part of the development programme being carried out by NORCECA with the purpose of offering players the safest and highest-performing outdoor surfaces available. Mrs. Lucille Hobson of the US Virgin Islands, First Vice President of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA), said: "The events which will take place within this facility will allow young people to develop a wide range of skills and this will sustain their interest and motivate them to use their leisure time in healthy and constructive pursuits."
Mr. Marte Hoffiz said that similar facilities would be built across the 36 countries and territories within NORCECA. "What we are doing here today is just complying with our obligation as a confederation," he said. "Without the players the national federations and confederation don't have reason to exist. Today we start providing the tools to help the development of the players at a grass-roots level following the FIVB's new policy of promoting the expansion of volleyball through the continental confederations."
Mrs. Olivia Grange, Jamaica's Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture, was present at the ceremony and made the first serve of honour after declaring the facility officially open, ahead of a match between school pupils. She thanked NORCECA and congratulated JaVA members under the leadership of Major Dixon for their hard work, as well as calling for the assistance of the private companies as potential sponsors. She went on to praise the natural talent of Jamaican athletes pointing out that the fastest man and woman on the planet were from Jamaica - Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser.
The blessing prayer was pronounced by Dr. Sandrica Young while Sheniele Grant, a star player from the local girls' league, expressed the vote of thanks. Paula-Anne Porter was the master of ceremonies and Lawrence Nelson and Tamika Pennicott, JaVA general secretary and treasurer respectively, were also on the head table.