FIVB’s generosity could be catalyst for sport’s take off
By Rawle Welch
In an emotional address that truly reflected his passion for the development of volleyball, long serving President of the Guyana Volleyball Federation Lenox Shuffler speaking at the commissioning of the artificial floor which was installed at the National Gymnasium on Thursday praised the international body (FIVB) for the assistance given to the local affiliate.
Shuffler told the gathering that included Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony, Permanent Secretary within the Ministry Alfred King, executive members of the Federation, students and well wishers, of the countless efforts made over the years, both locally and internationally, to obtain better facilities to expand the sport.
He spoke of the difficulty to acquire permission to use the sole facility (Cliff Anderson Sports Hall) which has the minimum standard to play international volleyball, due to the overwhelming demand for its use by other disciplines.
Shuffler pointed to that situation as one of the main factors that obstructed the progress of the game here in Guyana, adding that with the new development, the installation of the top quality TARAFLEX Floor, the sport is now ready to take off.
The GVF President informed of FIVB’s new direction which is to utilize a large percentage of its revenue towards assisting in the development of countries categorized as Levels 1&2, praising its executive for making a bold decision to change course and pay more attention to those nations that are struggling to meet acceptable international standards.
Shuffler further disclosed that the floor was not the only gift that was given to the Local Body, but that it had also received over 1,000 high quality balls to be used during the national schools tournament.
He also acknowledged the willingness of Minister Anthony, who he related readily agreed to facilitate the process of getting the floor into the country duty free as well as giving the okay to find a suitable home to lay it that will benefit all.
The facility which has undergone a tremendous facelift will now be able to offer better opportunities for aspiring players as well as those already in the game to lift their standards that could ultimately initiate a change in the fortunes of the game locally.
“This floor provides the avenue for new players to join the sport, while associations and clubs could feel more comfortable now knowing that organizing a tournament will be much easier since the sport now enjoys a permanent home,” Shuffler stated.
He, however, cautioned that the facility is not under the control of the Federation and it not entirely for volleyball, informing that he is suppose to meet with the relevant authorities shortly to work out the best possible schedule that will be comfortable and acceptable to all the parties.
The GVF Boss, who has indicated that he is reaching the end of his tenure at the helm, informed that he is much happier now that the sport has a new set of executive members that are capable of taking it to new heights and for that reason he is much more comfortable now than before.
The schools programme according to Shuffler will be able to capture dozens more players who he is confident will stick with the sport for years to come and who could even develop into stars to compete with success both regionally and internationally.
Photo on server Claude as: Shuffler: caption- President of the Guyana Volleyball Federation Lenox Shuffler (foreground) addresses the audience during the commissioning of the TARAFLEX Floor on Thursday, at the National Gymnasium.