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29079: Ayiti Chanje (news) Significance Of Haitis CVC Finishes (fwd)

From: Ayiti Chanje <ayitichanje1804@hotmail.com>

4th September

Significance Of Haitiís CVC Finishes

By Dahalia Smith

Coach Appeals To Local Haitians For Support


Haiti, participating in its first Caribbean Volleyball Championships last week at the Sir Kendal Isaacs Gym, won the bronze medal in the womenís division and was sixth in the menís division. According to veteran Head Coach Yves Joseph Larrieux, the last international tournament Haiti attended was two decades ago. .

"The last time the menís team traveled to play internationally was in 1986 when we went to Santiago. The only reason we came to the CVC this year was because we want to make a comeback to interenational volleyball. We only had one month and 20 days to prepare for the tournament.

"We only played in a local tournament but it was not high level. That is where we scouted for players to make up the national teams," explained Larrieux.

In that light, the finishes by the Haitian national teams were exceptional. Larrieux further noted that the country had little faith in the teamsí potential and said that their achievements would now push the government to endorse volleyball programmes.

"Right now we donít have a programme. However the third and sixth place finishes will be a motivator for the government for funding to establish new programmes. I think that the government will be happy. They did not think that we could make the finals but they will see when we take back the medal.

"The women could have finished higher because we were missing two of our top players, who are playing outside of the country. The menís sixth place finish was good too because the menís teams played against very good teams," said Larrieux in a post championships exclusive interview with The Bahama Journal.

The head coach added that upon the return home of the teams, the intention was to begin working with the youth players in an attempt to send a team to the Junior Caribbean Volleyball Championships next year.

But attempting to build a junior programme will be difficult according to Larrieux.

"This is 2006 and we are still playing on outdoor courts. It is very bad for Haiti. We need facilities as well as volleyballs, nets and volleyball tennis," he noted.

As a result of this disadvantage, Larrieux is appealing to Haitians living in The Bahamas and elsewhere to financially support the local body.

Despite all of the adversities Haiti had to overcome, MacKenzie Allen from the menís team won "The Best Defender" individual award.

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