Bermuda beach volleyball teams head to El Salvador and Dominican Republic
The Bermuda Volleyball Association is sending two teams to the final North American, Central American and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Beach Tour events of the year.
Brandon Sousa and Benjamin Barnett have been selected to represent Bermuda in the first event, which takes place in El Salvador from Friday to Sunday. That competition is followed by an under-23 tournament, held in the Dominican Republic from Tuesday to Thursday, with Braedon Cooke and Connor Somerville flying the island’s flag.
The Norceca Beach Tour is the signature volleyball tour for the North American, Central American and Caribbean zone, and BVA co-president, Lisa LeBlanc, is excited by the opportunity to end the year on a good note.
"We are so thrilled to be part of these exciting final tour stops for 2023 especially as a few earlier tournaments were cancelled, which was a great disappointment after months of training,’’ LeBlanc said.
“I know these two teams have been dedicated this year and are ready to showcase their skills, competitive spirit and strive to earn valuable tour points for themselves and Bermuda.
“As we saw earlier this year for the CAC Games and Youth Commonwealth Games, when we participate in the tour stops, doors do open which is invaluable not only for our beach volleyball programme but for Bermuda as well.
“As an association, we are very excited to build on the beach foundation we have started and look forward to great progress and more international exposure in 2024. I wish the teams the very best of luck and look forward to watching their matches.”
Sousa, 26, is enthusiastic about the chance to test himself against some of the sport’s biggest names.
“We’re looking forward to being out there,’’ Sousa said.
“Our tentative pool has US Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Canada. Other teams have a couple of big names so we’re looking forward to playing against them, and getting some experience at that level.
“We want to go as far as we can and we’re looking to get some much needed points for Bermuda on that tour.
“Hopefully we can make it out of the group stage, with the top two teams advancing, and then we’ll see how it goes from there.
“This is my second time as in November last year I was in Cayman Islands at one of these tour stops. We’re to looking to build upon the success that we've had over the course of 2023.
“We’ve been training as much as possible, but during the winter months it’s hard to train with daylight quite short. Every weekend we've been out playing at Horseshoe Bay.
“We were fortunate to have an international coach [Federica Tonon] here for three months. She’s since left, so we've been training by ourselves with the assistance of other coaches on the island.”