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Halfway around the world, three defeats but Trinidad still happy

Malika Davidson (left) and Chelsi Ward go home with three losses, but enjoyed every bit of the U21 World Championships in Umag
Umag, Croatia, June 21, 2013 – They flew halfway around the world in four days and ended up with three losses, but 16-years old Chelsi Ward and 17-years old Malika Davidson enjoyed every bit of the FIVB U21 World Championships. They will go home to Trinidad and Tobago with lots of new impressions, more experience and new friendships.

“Even though we lost every match, we had a lot of fun”, Ward said Friday after pool play finished. “This was a great experience. People are really nice to us and we have made lots of new friends.”

Just started

Their beach volleyball adventure has only just started. “We have been playing indoor volleyball at school, but four months ago a friend of ours introduced us to beach volleyball”, Ward said. Davidson: “Our coach also encouraged us to start playing on the beach.”

They were lucky enough to qualify for the U21 World Championships, it is the first time ever a team from Trinidad and Tobago competes at a junior world championship. Their trip to Europe took four days and started early Sunday morning with a flight to Barbados. From there they flew to London, Amsterdam and Zagreb, where they rented a car to arrive in Umag on Wednesday evening.

“It was a long, long trip, but it was worth it”, Davidson said. With all the experience they gained in Umag they will return to the Trinidad and prepare for their next big event, the qualification tournament for the Youth Olympic Games.

Preparing for Youth Olympic Games

“This is a big event for us”, Ward explained. “The qualification is in November in Trinidad. In our country we don’t have a lot of junior teams we can practice with, so we play a few tournaments abroad for preparation; one in Haiti in August, Barbados in September and we also have a training camp in Cuba.”

The Youth Olympic Games are held in August 2014 in Nanjing. It is the second edition for young athletes, the first Youth Olympics were held in Singapore in 2010.

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