Long trip earns rich rewards for St Lucians
MYSLOWICE, Poland, June 8, 2013 – It is a long way from the
sunny, golden beaches of the Caribbean to the courts of southern
Poland where the inaugural FIVB Beach Volleyball U23 World
Championships is taking place, but that hasn’t stopped St
Lucia’s two representatives from making history as the first two
players from their country to compete at an FIVB age-group world
Julian Bissette and Gillan Octave are the two players who are
representing the island nation of 176,000 people and while they
may have travelled nearly 10,000 kilometres to get to Myslowice,
they are in no doubt what their participation means.
“It is the first world tournament for both of us and our
country.” Bissette said. “The tournament is pretty tough because
you have 32 teams, whereas on the NORCECA tour you have 16 teams
and you don’t have much time to study your opponents because you
play your games, while they’re playing their games.”
“So far we have got to see players from all round the world and
it doesn’t get much better than that really,” Octave added.
Bissete and Octave are regulars on the NORCECA Tour and it was
through their fifth-place ranking that they earned their place
in Myslowice. They both played a variety of sports in their
youth before they took up volleyball aged 17 and from there they
moved to beach volleyball two years ago.
To reach the Tournament they had to fly for three hours to the
east coast of the USA, where they caught a nine-hour flight to
Poland’s capital Warsaw. From there they boarded a train for the
remaining three hours, but despite the length of the journey,
they knew it was a trip of a lifetime.
“No matter how uncomfortable we were, we were coming to a World
Championships and there was nothing to dampen our spirits.
are coming to a world championships, we are coming to a world
championships,’ and it was just a case of replaying that over
and over in our heads,” Octave said.
“It is a case of coming here and repping hard and letting
everyone know that St Lucia isn’t just a place where you can
come and lie on the beaches, you can come and be beaten on the
Beach Volleyball revolution
The pair have a Brazilian coach, Joao Carlos and the hope is
that with his sage advice and the development program in place
back home that they can lead a beach volleyball revolution in
“There is no better place to see where need to be than on the
world stage and now we have had a taste,” Octave said.
“We have a couple of young guys back home too, my buddy here is
22, I’m 21 and there are some 16 and 17 year-olds back home that
are coming up, so this isn’t the last time you’ll see St Lucia
up in here.”