Last update: 04-Dec-2013 12:33 pm
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ramdin signs with French club
Senior women’s team volleyballer, Darlene Ramdin inked her second professional contract recently when she put pen to paper on a contract with Terville Florange Olympique of the 12-team French Women’s Ligue A Division which serves off on Friday. It follows an eight-month stint by Ramdin, a former St John’s University standout with Finnish Division One club, Pieksamaki Volley for the 2012/2013 season. Ramdin, who has been part of the national set-up for the past ten years and was named to the All-Big East Conference Second Team for the second-consecutive season, is expected to make her debut in the French League on Saturday against Mulhouse.
According to a release from the T&T Volleyball Federation, Ramdin’s contract marks an addition to what has been a steady increase in the number of local volleyball athletes being awarded professional contracts. It is expected that other players will follow soon as former Poland-based duo Krystle Esdelle and Channon Thompson are currently negotiating with top-ranking European clubs to finalise contracts for the upcoming international season. Local federation president Daymian Stewart, in a move which vetoed a recommendation by the national women’s coach, Cuban-born Francisco “Panchee” Cruz, allowed the players to be released for orientation with the prospective clubs. Cruz, who has led T&T to four straight senior Caribbean Championship crowns and an upward climb on the world rankings, had recommended that the entire senior female team remain in T&T to train in preparation for the FIVB third round qualification tournament for the 2014 World Championship.
However, Stewart noted that his executive understands the position of the coach as T&T has a real chance to qualify for the World Championship 2014, but the federation with its limited resources and not being immune to the current financial woes affecting all NGO’s, believed that the welfare of these athletes could not be matched at this time and it was unfair to the athletes to deny them an opportunity to earn their living. The TTVF in 2009/10 had a large community programme funded by Sportt (Sport Company of T&T) which maintained 15 coaches working in a number of school-based programs on a weekly basis.
This enabled the T&TVF to interface with over 3,000 youngsters each week, which, in essence, provided a recruiting base which sought to serve as a feeder programme for the Youth National Volleyball Programmes. That program has since been side-lined as coaches who worked to earn a living could not be paid owing to the serious financial constraints that the T&TVF is facing currently. The T&TVF president has indicated that the current executive is seeking a self-sustainable approach and will attempt to get the program running again at the start of the 2013/2014 fiscal year.
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