FRANCISCO CRUZ and Gideon Dickson have been re-appointed national coaches by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF).

The duo have been working with the national senior and Under-23 teams for a long time and they were given the green light to continue doing so.

Cruz is without question the most successful person to have ever coached in this country. The Cuban started working with the national women’s team in 2005 and has been their leader for almost all the time between then and now.

T&T has played unbeaten in the biennial Caribbean Championships since Cruz was first on the bench in ’06, winning all seven titles.

The man, fondly known as “Panchy” was also instrumental in this country becoming the smallest to ever qualify for World Championship in the sport in 2017. And they contested the second most prestigious tournament in the sport the following year in Japan.

T&T women also placed fourth in the CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games in ’10 under Cruz, and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Level III certificate coach has played a major role in taking them from #93 in the world to a career-high ranking in the mid-20s in a couple years ago.

Dickson has worked with the national men’s squad for the majority of the last 15 years or so and the police inspector led them to their only title in the Caribbean Championships in ’10. Nolan Tash, who was the captain of that outfit and is now the 1st vice-president of the TTVF, has been appointed to lead an executive high-performance committee.

TTVF president Daymian Stewart expects this team to focus on “resolving past issues whilst improving the daily training environment and the welfare of athletes.”

The local governing body for the sport did not make recommendations for beach volleyball, but is continuing to explore new innovative approaches to the development of the game. The TTVF is also “placing high priority” on its grassroots and under-age development programmes.

In addition to being re-elected as TTVF president late last year, Stewart was promoted from member to secretary of the Beach Volleyball Commission of the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Confederation.

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