Rudolph Speid, president of the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JAVA), has expressed delight at the association being selected to host the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Volleyball Championship in July this year. The president said the selection puts Jamaica one step closer to realising the association’s objective of popularising, professionalising, and commercialising the sport in the country.This will be the fourth time since last year that Jamaica has been selected to host an international volleyball tournament. In May 2015, Jamaica hosted the first round of the Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifiers in Ocho Rios and, in August, the CAZOVA Under-19 championships were held at the G.C. Foster College in St. Catherine. JAVA received high praise from CAZOVA for both tournaments. Jamaica has also been selected to host the second round of Olympic qualifiers at the end of the month, and now the Caribbean Championships. Speid believes these achievements will help boost the sport locally.”The volleyball community is ecstatic about being selected to host the Caribbean championships. The country has done a good job hosting two previous tournaments last year, and it will help to build the image of the sport,” he said.From July 7 to 17, 16 teams from across the region – eight male and eight female – will be competing for the respective titles, both held by Trinidad and Tobago. Due to the regional appeal, JAVA will be tasked with partnering with a Caribbean communications network to send pictures out to the region. “We have to get an event like this properly televised and reported on so that people here will start to identify with the sport and so that it can be seen as an alternative to other sports.”RAMP UP PREPARATIONSIt is only one of many things JAVA will have to get done to ensure a successful staging of the championships estimated to cost about J$20million. “We have to now ramp up preparations. The local organising committee will take over now and ensure that we get the relevant permits, meet with Major Desmon Brown at Independence Park Limited and, most important, take measures to ensure that the venue gets filled every night for the tournament.”They will also have to tie down an estimated 250 hotel rooms, possibly more, to accommodate the visiting teams and any visitor who might be travelling to see the tournament, an indicator, Speid says, on the potential impact the tournaments can have on sports tourism.CAZOVA has also promised to deliver an indoor court that will have to be in place by April. Agreements have already been reached to have the court installed at the National Arena.Meanwhile, JAVA will be out seeking sponsors to help fund the venture.”We have some national sponsors, but we will need to go beyond them. We have to put on a very good event,” Speid said.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LONDON (AP) – A series of explosions at an oil depot shook an area north of London early Sunday, shattering windows of nearby houses and sending a billowing cloud of smoke and flames high into the sky. Police said the blasts appeared to be an accident. The explosions were located at Buncefield Oil Terminal, near the town of Hemel Hempstead in the country of Hertfordshire. Some local residents had reported hearing an aircraft flying low overhead shortly before the first explosion at around 6 a.m. (1 a.m. EDT). But Hertfordshire police said there was “nothing to suggest a plane was involved.” Nearby Luton Airport, about 30 miles north of central London, remained open and flights were operating normally. Hertfordshire Fire Brigade said it had scrambled at least 12 crews to the depot and called the explosions a major incident. The British Broadcasting Corp. reported an unconfirmed number of casualties. Residents of Hemel Hempstead reported a loud boom that shook their houses. The blast was so large it was felt throughout a large part of London and the surrounding area. “There was a loud boom and the house shook violently,” said Duncan Milligan, of Hemel Hempstead, who said the blast woke him up. “I am about three miles from where the explosion took place but I can see flames high in the sky and smoke billowing everywhere. There is clearly a building on fire near the motorway and police and emergency services are everywhere.” Local resident Richard Ayers said a massive column of smoke rose some three miles into the air and the force of explosions had blown the roofs off houses near the oil depot. “It is like it is doomsday,” he told the BBC.