Mayor greets athletes of Continental Cup in Costa Rica

Mal Pais, Costa Rica, February 9, 2012 - The opening ceremony of the NORCECA Women's Inter Zonal Beach Volleyball Continental Cup between Central America and the Caribbean took place Thursday night in the presence of the Mayor of the Municipality of Cobano the Honorable Oldemar Fernandez.

"I want to thank all the beach volleyball authorities from NORCECA Confederation for selecting Costa Rica, and especially Mal Pais, as the host town of this important tournament," Fernandez said. "I hope you can enjoy your time with us, have a good tournament and and then come back for future competitions."

"We are all winners just by the fact of having all of you here in our region," Fernandez added. "And it is such a privilege to be in the company of so many good female athletes."

William Corrales, president of the Costa Rica National Federation, welcomed the 40 athletes representing 10 countries and wishing all of them a positive tournament.

"For the first time Costa Rica is hosting a NORCECA competition and it is a real challenge but I hope everything goes well and all of you can go back to your countries with good memories of our hospitality and our culture," Corrales said.

Marta Centeno de Sajche, FIVB executive vice president and president of the Central American Volleyball Association of National Federations introduced the members of the control committee and the neutral referees, while Arnaldo Sanchez, the technical director, explained the competition system with a double elimination format.

The countries in the winners bracket will play best-of-five series with a golden set in case of a tie and those in the losers side will meet in best-of-three series also with a golden set to decide the winner. The top four countries move on to the final phase against the top four countries of the Central Region next June in Nayarit, Mexico.

The five Central America's countries taking part in this stage of the competition are Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The Caribbean is represented by Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao, Jamaica and Cayman Islands.

At the end of the opening ceremony the local organizers presented a junior chamber music group from schools of the community who performed several themes followed by a group of young dancers of Costa Rica folkloric music.