By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Volleyball Association (ABAVA) is moving ahead with preparatory measures in hopes of restarting its stalled competition whenever the relevant government and medical bodies lifts restrictions on team sports.
This is according to its Vice President, Olsen Joseph, who said the association has been in talks with both the authorities on the ground here and its regional and international governing bodies.
“We are putting things in place in terms of sanitary things like hand-washing facilities because volleyball, like basketball, is a close contact sport and we’re just about there, but we’re still in talks with the Ministry [of Sports], NOC [National Olympic Committee] and FIVB [Federation of International Volleyball] in getting those things finalised in terms of where we should go and how long we should hold off [restart training] so probably in the next week or two, we would have more advice or more answers to that,” he said.
Despite the ongoing efforts to prepare the sport’s indoor facility at the YMCA Sports Complex, Joseph believes that playing on the beach may be the ultimate test once permission is granted.
“We have done the sanitation of the building, we have put in sanitizers, the hand-washing soaps and we are getting the equipment organised to put in so we are at least 80 percent ready for when they say, go ahead. The beach is more easily accessed because from what we have been hearing, there is a focus on beach volleyball so they may start with the beach because that is just two versus two which is easier to handle, easier to deal with and easier to contain,” he said.
The volleyball association was some two weeks into its national competition in March when government, through the Ministry of Sports, placed restrictions on all competitions, staling a number of domestic competitions to also include basketball and football.
The government has since eased restrictions to allow teams to train while observing some protocols but are yet to allow major team competitions to restart.