Five years of community development in Jamaica
The 5th Annual Burwood Beach Volleyball Tournament, a community development fundraising event, will be held on September 13, 2008.
In 2003 two United States Peace Crops Volunteers began serving local communities in the great parish of Trelawny, Jamaica. From beautiful white sand beaches, sprawling sugarcane fields and rolling Cockpit Country hills to the mighty Martha brae river and every community in between, the two gained an in depth understanding of the people, culture and environment of Jamaica. Their love of Trelawny and its people and their desire to see the area flourish has been the motivation behind the projects and efforts the two have been undertaking since joining forces in 2004.
Mystic Rhoads Productions (MRP) was created by these volunteers as the vehicle to carry out community development initiatives in Trelawny and the organization seeks to provide Jamaicans with positive educational opportunities, healthy lifestyles and a natural environment they can be proud of. Donations to worthy causes, educational scholarships, sporting event stagings, business opportunities, upgrading of public facilities, equipment donations to schools and environmental cleanups are some of the ways MRP has contributed to the development of Trelawny.
The Burwood Beach Volleyball Tournament, which sees its 5th Anniversary staging on September 13, provides a great opportunity for volleyball players from across Jamaica to showcase their skills and has given hundreds of sports fans an exciting and entertaining day at the beach. In addition to providing a good time to players and fans, the Tournament raises funds to support environmental and athletic projects in Trelawny. The first development initiative implemented by MRP, the Burwood Beach Volleyball tournament helps MRP fulfill its mission by promoting healthy lifestyles and environmental conservation. The future of the Tournament has tremendous potential to establish itself as an international weekend event involving players and sponsors from throughout the Americas. With an annual increase in players and spectators since the Tournament’s inception, MRP hopes to raise $3,000 US towards each year’s selected community development activity.
On September 13 Trelawny’s premiere sporting event looks to once again support the people of Trelawny. With a record 16 teams participating in last year’s Volleyball Tournament, this year is set to be the biggest staging yet with sports, food, music, bar, giveaways and prizes making it a memorable day at the beach for the entire family. Local community development will come through both environmental and educational improvement projects. A grant has been secured from Friends of Jamaica to make environmental improvements at Burwood Beach in the week leading up to the Tournament. Volunteers from Jamaica and the United States will be working together to repaint buildings, erect signs on proper garbage disposal and conduct a thorough cleanup of the Beach. Funds raised from the Tournament will be used to provide educational scholarships for students in Trelawny. An essay competition is being developed for students to apply for the scholarship and winning students will be rewarded during the first term of the 2009 school year.
Fans can expect the best beach volleyball players in Jamaica at Burwood Beach. Affiliates of Jamaica Volleyball’s Out and Bounce Beach Volleyball Circuit are regulars at the event. Members of the Jamaica Defense Force, GC Foster and local high schools will be looking to knock off ALL OUT and TNT, last year’s men’s and women’s professional division champions.
As usual, the MRP massive is coming out in full support of this year’s Tournament. Dozens of volunteers are coming down from the United States to assist in staging the event. Traditional partners are also lining up to support this worthwhile event, including the Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency, JBW Red Face Estate Rum, The Jamaica Volleyball Association, Western Sports, The Trelawny Co-operative Credit Union and Ventura Photo. Organizers are always looking for people who want to have a positive impact in Jamaican communities. Please visit www.mysticrhoads.com to find out how you can participate in the 2008 Burwood Beach Volleyball Tournament.