The re-appointment of Gideon Dickson as the country's senior men's volleyball coach brings with it new hopes of a return to the dominance it once had in the region, as well as hopes of breaking into the top four ranks in the NORCECA region.
The former national player and coach made this abundantly clear in an interview with Guardian Media Sports on Monday.
"We have CAC Games pending next year. We hope that by the end of this year, to be back on the podium where Caribbean volleyball is concerned. Between that time I was out to now, the team would have slid considerably, both at the senior level and the under-23 level, and now the junior programmes. It's an indictment on our federation, and more, the structure that was put in place. So my getting back here is to bring the country up to the level it once operated at, and push to break into the top four at the NORCECA region," Dickson
He believes with the election of the new volleyball administration, being led by Daymian Stewart, he will have the tools and support needed to achieve, among many targets, the recruitment of 5000 athletes in the sport over the next four to five years.
With the COVID-19 pandemic now a major stumbling block, Dickson who is no stranger to challenges as the President of the T&T Police Service Social and Welfare Association, said he plans to be innovative, purposeful and determined to succeed, saying you have to find ways and means to get things done.
"There wasn't much structural support, so most of our achievement would have been done as a result of the fact that we were determined, and our intent was to persevere in the midst of the lack of support and resources. This time around we acknowledge that there is more structure in the federation. The structure now would enable us to deal with the challenges. The stakeholders' support will also play an integral part. I am aware that the federation's thrust is to deal with the issues of development in a meaningful way so that it will feed into the national programmes."
In 2017 and before, Dickson's partnership with Cuban technical director Francisco Cruz, led to one of the highs in the sport, consisting at least a sixth position in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) region which also coupled with their dominance in the Caribbean.