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Historic event of World Grand Prix in TTO  


COUVA, Trinidad, July 12, 2017 - Following on from a successful hosting of the 16th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Men’s Championship which ended on Sunday July 9, the T&T Volleyball Federation is now confident of welcoming three teams for the historic staging of the 2017 FIV Women’s World Grand Prix Group Three Week Two Pool D-3 series.


The three-tournament which is being hosted by an English-speaking CAZOVA team for the first time, men or women, serves off at the National Cycling Centre, in Balmain, Couva from Friday July 14 until Sunday July 16 from 5.30pm  involving host T&T, France, Cameroon and Australia.


This will be the second week of competition for all the participating teams with the trio of Australia, France and Cameroon all tasting victory while T&T were blanked.


In fact, France ended with a 3-0 record in its Week One Pool hosted by Cameroon at the Yaounde Multipurpose Sports Complex, Yaounde, with wins over the African nation as well as Algeria and Venezuela.


The Australians defeated T&T for its lone win in Mexico while going under to the Mexicans and Hungary, and Cameroon defeated Algeria for its lone victory on home soil with its second loss coming against Venezuela.


T&T making its tournament debut went under to Hungary and Mexico in its other matches. 


However, playing on home soil, the T&T women, nicknamed the “Calypso Spikers” are expected to put on a much stronger showing and contend for top spot.


Speaking ahead of the tournament, Vaughn Martin, Executive Director of the Tournament and T&TVF Delegate Vice President, and a  of the  said his organisation is as ready as can be for the historic hosting of the prestigious event, third only behind the Olympic Games and the FIVB World Championship.


“This is our first time competing at this level with the team making its debut last weekend in Mexico and now it will be an even bigger achievement for us now as host country for the Week Two matches,” Martin said.


“Our goal for the team is to continue to gain the experience for the rest of the tournament and grow as a team because we intend to much more competitive in next year’s competition which we have qualified for already as well,” he added.


“For us playing against teams at a higher level has always been our target and while we came up against Australia last week, it will be the first time that we will play France and Cameroon and we look forward to the challenge.”


“From what we have seen so far, we know we will be faced with some challenges but at the same time we recognize that we can compete at this level and as a federation we will not be surprise when we win some of these matches.”


Last year the "Calypso Spikers" created history by qualifying for the prestigious 2017 World Grand Prix through qualification at the Pan American Cup held in Dominican Republic.


Attorney-at-law and T&TVF President, Nicole Selvon said she was anxiously looking forward to the start to the tournament after all the challenges they had to overcome.


“We were faced with a lot of challenges to put on the event, but we had the help of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, the Sport Company of T&T, National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB)., Massy, FLOW, Blue Waters and the T&T Police Service.

"The hard work of getting ready for the event has been completed and now we are looking forward to witnessing a very high level of volleyball from the teams that are coming to our shores for the first time."


Selvon also said she is hoping that spectators come out and give the local women's team their full support and the sport in general as the T&TVF continues its effort to make the sport a major one locally. 


Also starting on Friday   Hungary, Algeria, Mexico and host Venezuela clash  in Pool C-3 from  at Poliedro de Caracas,  Caracas, Venezuela.


This year’s edition of the competition, the 25th in its history, 32 countries will feature from July 7 to August 6 with the Group One Final Round to be held in Nanjing, China.


Excluding Cuba, which withdrew from the tournament, the remaining 27 teams from the 2016 edition directly qualified.