Simon embracing new coaching role as she prepares men’s volleyball team for ECVA tournament

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Rosemarie Simon (yellow top) celebrates with Naheemah K Wilson (centre) and other teammates during a match at the indoor volleyball facility
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By Neto Baptiste

Senior women’s national volleyball player, Rosemarie Simon, said that although coaching at the highest level is not a new experience for her, she is embracing her new role as assistant coach of the senior men’s team currently in preparation for the ECVA Men’s Championships here from July 6-11.

“I am very delighted to be part of the three-member coaching team and, for the team itself, they are very receptive to us.

“There is no attitude or anything like that and I am not sure if it’s because the set-up is a group of younger men but they have been very receptive and supportive of us but, to be honest, I am not necessarily new to the coaching arena because I have been with the under-19s females before, I’ve done beach coaching before, so it’s not pretty new to me,” she said. 

Last week Simon was named alongside another senior women’s player, Naheemah K Wilson, as assistant national coaches for the one-week tournament. It marks the first time that two women coaches have been appointed to a senior men’s team in volleyball.

The team will be coached by former national men’s player Fitzroy Benjamin, who endorsed both Simon and Wilson, revealing that it was veteran men’s player, Olsen Joseph, who suggested and pushed for the appointments.

“Originally, he was supposed to have been the head coach but we were left in a situation where a key position had to be filled by a more senior or experienced player which is the setting so he will have to play,” Benjamin explained.

“Originally we had him coaching the team but we had to ask him to be a part of the training squad and that’s [coaching] where I will fill in because I would rather not be the coach while we are hosting a tournament in Antigua because of all the up and down [running around] but it was his decision to have them as part of the management team; one is going to be the manager and one is the assistant coach,” he said. 

Hosts Antigua and Barbuda will be joined by St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Dutch St Maarten, Dominica, Bermuda, Grenada and St Lucia for the championships to be held at the indoor volleyball facility located at the YMCA Sports Complex.

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