Female athletes attached to national teams are overseas representing the country in volleyball and football. Nearest to our borders are the national female volleyball team, who landed in Nicaragua on Friday. They have since participated in three matches at the Central American Championships. They lost to Costa Rica, won the second game against Honduras and then lost today against El Salvador. President of the Belize Volleyball Association Allan Sharp spoke to News Five today about the performance so far.�

Allan Sharp, President, Belize Volleyball Association

"The girls played one of the top teams, the team that won when we were here in Belize, Costa Rica and of course they had a lot of vengeance for us - if you saw it on Facebook, they had a lot to say after winning that game, so I hope that motivates our girls. So they beat us the first game, but then we bounced back yesterday with a game against Honduras. We had to go to five sets, but the girls showed true heart and worked really hard, but a lot of energy into it and came out with a victory. And I think the girls feel a lot more confident now, a lot more normalised with the tournament. I think we can look for further success. Some teams are looking stronger than other; some that were not normally so strong are looking quite good and some that are normally strong are looking normal. But I think the girls are now back in the groove. The coaches have done some changes for each set almost and I think we see what's working now."

COVID Pandemic Affected the National Female Volleyball Team

While the team experienced yet another loss today, BVA President Allan Sharp says their performance was affected by two factors:� the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the fact that some veteran players are away studying and could not participate in the tournament. Sharp says, however, that the team will not give up that easily.

Allan Sharp, President, Belize Volleyball Association

"I expect Nicaragua and Costa Rica to be the strong ones for this tournament and I think that some other countries had some issues like us, but of all of the Central American countries, we are the ones that had the least time so definitely it affected the amount of preparation and the level of preparation. Unfortunately we didn't have time or a way to have practice matches which the female team normally does in going across to Mexico so the first match especially was a big learning curve. Other countries have been open for much longer than us. They have had their national tournaments, their club tournaments. Keep in mind some of our top girls went away to university so imagine had we had them to compete here and at least half the team is out at school. So there is a lot that's happening, but definitely I think the girls - the ones that are new are growing up very fast, the ones that are older are leading with experience. So I can only look forward to good things."

On Thursday, the team plays against Guatemala at one p.m.

Channel 5