The biggest of the bigs and the littlest of the littles waited in great anticipation on Saturday, May 25th to find out who their partners would be for the annual BIG-little Beach Volleyball Tournament. The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation hosts this event each year because it’s a great way to share the love for the game across the generations, as all the little players ages 8-18 are each paired with a big player ages 19 and older. Regardless of whether you’re a Senior National Team player or a youth player who’s new to the beach, this tournament always seems to be a fun filled afternoon and a great learning experience for all involved. Jessica Wolfenden couldn’t agree more as she explained: “I had such a fun afternoon playing in the BIG-little tournament. It was fantastic to see so many young players out there, as well as many “big” players who came out to mentor and guide the “littles.” This is a wonderful CIVF tradition that builds community and gives everyone a chance to learn from one another.”
The federation was thrilled with the turnout, and they noted that this year was the biggest turn out yet with over 30 littles registering for the tournament. Many of the Youth National Team players jumped at the opportunity to play alongside an experienced partner, and those that did register were grateful for the experience. “When I first signed up for the big little tournament, I thought it would just be a fun chance to play some beach volleyball, though I found out it was a lot more than that. Not only did I get an amazing time playing with a national team player, but I also got to be mentored. In regular practices both indoor and outdoor, there's less of the one on one mentoring because the coaches have to help the entire team. In the Big Little tournament, I was able to get some well-needed feedback and even little fixes which may not have been caught in practices.” said Megan McCoombs, member of the girls Youth National Team. Although there were wins and losses along the way, at least at the end of the day each player was able to walk away from the experience with valuable insight into their own personal game. For youth player Adrian Anglin, “Communication seemed to be the biggest lesson during this tournament, as there was non-stop talking during the games.”
It may take a village to raise a child, but it certainly takes a community to foster the development of a sport. CIVF would like to thank all the players, parents, and coaches that volunteered their time for this worthwhile event. The Federation would not be able to host such events without the generous contributions from the greater community at large. With that being said, they would like to acknowledge Ryde, Sporty Kidz Camps, Red Sail Sports, Lonestar, Macabuca, Island Naturals, Powder Monkey, Paint Pros, and Evolving Island for their support.
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