Barbados’ gold and silver medal performances at the just concluded Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association [CAZOVA] Championship held in Jamaica, have given former senior national men’s captain Elwyn Oxley hope of a bright future ahead for the sport.
Speaking with the media on arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport this past Sunday after Barbados had captured gold in the boys and silver in the girls’ championship, Oxley praised the national primary schools programme.
One of the most outstanding outside players in the history of Barbados volleyball, he further stated that any of the young upcoming players had the potential to be the next Elwyn Oxley based on what he has seen.
“We have an excellent programme going as you would have realised. We have volleyball going on in the Primary schools. So that gives coaches like me a chance to see good talent out there and approach physical education teachers, parents for the talent and work with it. So, volleyball has always been in good hands with Barbados, and it is getting better.
“I think that anybody could be an Elwyn Oxley if they put in the work. As I always tell my players, hard work pays off and look these are champions, and that is a perfect example of hard work paying off. I like Che Taylor [captain] he is a very good, Dmitri Holder could be an allrounder. I put my whole second six to play against USVI [United States Virgin Islands] and rest the first six, and they did the job. They beat them [USVI] three straight easily. So, of course, I could see some Elwyn Oxley here,” he said.
The second vice-president of the Barbados Volleyball Association Roxanne Forte shared the same sentiments as Oxley. But she added that the principal hindrance to the sport’s development was a facility to train. She said this had been a bugbear for quite some time and continued to be a challenge.
“I would like to say yes we have quite a few talented youngsters both in the youth and junior tournament. The juniors are currently in training, and they go off to Martinique in December for the CORZOVA junior tournament, and it is a steppingstone into the senior team. So, we could only hope now that with the transition of some of the older players like Alain London, Shawn Simpson, some of those guys who would have been around for a long period now in their thirties, that we have a good programme going into the senior programme. So, yes it could only augur well for the future of Barbados’ volleyball.
“The only facility we have which is close to other competition venues is the gymnasium, and we have challenges with exams, shows or something that would prevent us from training. But we make the most of it. We train outdoors, there is also that option, but it doesn’t lend to the same type of training as we would in an indoor facility. So we could only pray that something happens for us that training would become less of a challenge,” Forte explained.