“It was unfortunate”- ECVA president
President of the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association ( ECVA) Glenn Quinlan, has described the circumstances leading to the St Vincent and the Grenadines senior men’s volleyball team, not being able to attend the inter-continental championships, in Winnipeg, Canada, as “unfortunate”.
The St Vincent and the Grenadines team had earned a berth to the championships after champing the ECVA title in Grenada last October.
However, after the team was in an advanced state of preparations, the SVGVA was not able to meet the deadline of securing the Canadian visas as set by the sport’s confederation NORCECA.
This was against the reality that president of the SVGVA Suzanna Ollivierre had indicated that the necessary mechanisms were explored to fast track the visas.
Additionally, Ollivierre revealed NORCECA’s promise to purchase the 15 airline tickets to Canada, was later replaced with a travel grant.
In giving an inside scope of what transpired, Quinlan, in an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT, conceded that one has to give and take on both parties, vis a vis, the SVGVA and NORCECA.
Quinlan in his assessment, related: “Having regard to both situations, meaning the position of NORCECA was in, as well as the national federation (SVGVA) … I can understand both points of view”.
He noted: “The national federation of St Vincent and the Grenadines did all what it was asked to do… It met the relevant deadlines and they can’t be faulted, and on the other hand, I think that there was something from the NORCECA end that was not particularly articulated”.
Quinlan continued: “From NORCECA’s point of view they needed a hard deadline for which they could be assured of purchasing tickets within a particular cost factor and after deliberation, they indicated that 30 days out would be what was required … Plus by that time, the cost of the airfare to Canada had ballooned and this did not include the cost of the players travelling to Trinidad and Tobago for the visas, so what was manageable with US$15 000 was very quickly looking like a $30 000 budget, which was certainly out of the scope of the NORCECA financing”.
Quinlan highlighted the fact that there has been some changes this time around.
“In the past, when the teams went to Colorado Springs and to Toronto, it was the ECVA that brokered the airline fares… The ECVA was the one that handled the transaction … This year, NORCECA was the one that indicated that they were the ones to purchase the airfares, so the protocol changed slightly in that regard,” Quinlan reasoned.
Quinlan though agreed, “It is a learning point for us and NORCECA has now set the template for such future engagements of this nature”.
In his capacity, Quinlan revealed that efforts will be made to have the St Vincent and the Grenadines attend another championships in the shortest possible time.
“I have reached out to NORCECA to see if there is a Pan American event that the St Vincent and the Grenadines senior team can be accommodated this year or certainly next year … We appreciate the hard work and we don’t want it necessarily go in vain,” Quinlan concluded.