CARL GILCHRIST, STAR Writer
(as published in the daily STAR , Tuesday April 28, 2015)
Mayor of St Ann's Bay, Councillor Desmond Gilmore, has pledged the St Ann Parish Council's full support for the first Continental Women's Beach Volleyball Tournament and Women's Olympic Qualifiers, set for Ocho Rios Bay Beach in St Ann from May 1 to 3.
The tournament will see 14 countries Aruba, Bonaire, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and US Virgin Islands compete for four spaces to advance to the next qualifying round for Rio 2016.
Gilmore later told STAR Sports, "The tournament will have a very positive impact on Ocho Rios, and if we can put on a good show, we can leverage Jamaica as the volleyball capital of the Caribbean.
"If we can on the north coast have St Ann as the parish, or one of the parishes that would be considered if and when we're hosting national and international tournaments, it would mean a lot for the local economy."
Speid, in the meantime, said that although Jamaica was awarded the tournament at short notice, he was confident that JaVA would stage a successful event.
He said things were falling into place even as the association continues to seek sponsorship to cover the $5.8 million cost to host the tournament.
He expressed confidence in Jamaica's ability to qualify for the next round.
"We will go through for the next round for both male and female. As you know, the males will be going to Trinidad and Tobago the following weekend to participate in the first-round qualifier that will be held in Trinidad. We think our chances are great, we will definitely go through to the second round."
Below are pictures of the offical launch of the event.