Schools volleyball team trip in doubt

Antigua & Barbuda finished second in last year’s tournament held in St. Lucia. The team is pictured here alongside members of the schools volleyball programme.

A schools volleyball team slated to travel to St Maarten next week, may have to cancel their trip if they do not receive the funding requested from government.

This is according to one high-level government employee who said the Ministry of Sports is making a concerted effort to source the EC $30,000 required for the team to compete in the annual invitational event.

The team, a combined selection coming out of the schools competition here, have been attending the annual event for many years now, winning the competition on numerous occasions.

Reports indicate however, that the team was informed by Ministry of Sports officials that no funding was available to the team as the competition is not being held by a recognised sporting body and that it has no regional and or international implications.

This, reports state, has left the local organisers with little to relay to parents who would have already bought airline tickets for their children.

According to the senior ministry official, although the matter was only recently brought to his attention, he is hoping to source the necessary funding.

“The ministry will be doing its best to ensure that the team travels to the tournament because the players have worked hard during their schools league and their training sessions and it is important that we make sure they can make this trip,” the official said.

“It would be a disappointment if they won’t be able to make this trip so whatever assistance the ministry is able to get from the business community or the private sector, we will try to secure it to make sure they can make the trip,” the official added.

One volleyball official who spoke off the record, said the delegation has requested support for accommodation and tickets for the coaching staff in order to make the trip possible. The body is however still awaiting word from government as to whether or not the funding will be made available.

Efforts to reach the organisers of the schools volleyball competition for comment proved futile but reports are that they were scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Tuesday, as sports minister, EP Chet Greene is not on island.

Efforts to reach Greene for a comment also proved futile.

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