Celebrating our young heroes – Holy Redeemer’s CODICADER U-13 Volleyball Gold medal winners; and Belize National U-18 UNCAF sub-champions
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 28, 2019– The Ministry of Sports, in conjunction with the Football Federation of Belize, invited the local media to a special ceremony at the Marion Jones Sports Complex this evening to express the nation’s appreciation for the outstanding achievement of some young athletes who recently returned from competition abroad where they made history for Belize.
The National Primary School male volleyball champions, Holy Redeemer Primary School, won Belize’s first ever Gold medal in volleyball at the U-13 CODICADER Games in Costa Rica last weekend, where against all odds they were able to defeat the powerhouse host, Costa Rica for the championship. The team was coached by SQ Dragon members, Tarike Campbell and Elton Anderson, but Anderson is presently away with the National U-18 Male Volleyball Team in Nicaragua. All but two of the team members attend Holy Redeemer. Those are Kavaun Sampson from Hummingbird Elementary and Raymond Gentle from Queen Square Anglican. Lebron Palacio, David Garbutt, Shadrach Somerville, Jaiden Tuyul and Aryan Chygani all attend Holy Redeemer.
In those same U-13 CODICADER Games, in football, our U-13 boys lost a heart-breaker in penalties to El Salvador, after playing to a 2-2 draw in regulation.
But, also in Costa Rica over the past week, our National U-18 Male football team ended up in the UNCAF U-18 Championship semifinals against El Salvador, after drawing 1-1 with Panama, losing 5-1 to Costa Rica, then making history with a 1-0 win over Guatemala. Beating Guatemala was a major milestone, but so was reaching the semifinals in a tournament of this magnitude, which happened when Panama drew with Costa Rica. But our Belize U-18 team was not done in making history; they proceeded to defeat El Salvador in penalties, after playing to a 2-2 tie in regulation, thus avenging the U-13 loss in CODICADER. Belize U-18, for the first time ever, reached the finals of a Central American football tournament. And that was worth celebrating. After trailing 1-nil at the half, our boys lost 4-0 to the champions, Costa Rica.
At the event this evening, Sports Director Ian Jones, FFB President, Sergio Chuc, and Sports & Education Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber all heaped praise and congratulations on the young men for their hard work and splendid performance in representing their country. And to top it all off, Hon. Faber announced that his Ministry would be presenting each U-13 Gold Medal Volleyball team member with a $300.00 check, and each U-18 UNCAF Sub-Champion team member with a $500.00 check in the name of their respective school, as he encouraged all the young athletes to also continue their education.
FFB President Sergio Chuc took the occasion to present an official Concacaf Coach’s “C” License Certificate to National U-18 head coach, Dale Pelayo; and also congratulated assistant coaches Jerome Serano and Daniel Smith, as well as the other support staff, physiotherapist Ben Aba, and equipment manager, Herbert Trapp, Jr.
And FFB Vice-President, Marlon Kuylen reminded the audience that it is the hard work and substantial financial investment in youth by the present FFB administration that is now beginning to pay off. He reminded all that when this FFB leadership took over, there was no vision or structure in place; and they decided that success could only be achieved by focusing on developing our youth through hosting many tournaments at all age levels, and giving them exposure in regional competitions, so that they are well adjusted and prepared when they have to compete at the senior level. At the same time, a lot of emphasis was placed on training our coaches countrywide to guide the youths’ football and personal development. Thus they arrived at the motto, “Believe in the process.” He said they expected it would take about 3 years to begin to see the results, but he had to give a very big congratulations to the U-18 team for having achieved so much already; and with much appreciation for the parental support that was evident in the attendance at the ceremony. He encouraged the U-18 team members to continue believing in the process, working hard and remaining focused, as they should form the nucleus of the Belize team that will represent us at the 2026 World Cup.
Members of the history making National U-18 Male Team include: goalkeepers – #1 Charles Tillett and #12 Isaac Castillo; defenders – #2 Luis Orozco, #3 Gary Neal, #4 Jordan Casanova, #6 Henry Palma, #13 Tyrel Estrada, #15 Kleron Cacho and #18 Joshawn Flowers; midfielders – #5 Jahlin Pelayo, #7 Wayne Ford, #8 Ian Pou, #10 Alexis Chan, #14 Dion Cacho, #16 Andy Umana and #17 Alwyn Zelaya; and forwards – #9 Angelo Capello and #11 Jesse August.