Speaking Notes – Brian Collins, managing director, Columbus Communications Trinidad Limited
Previously, wushu figured significantly in the simple matter of survival through China's many wars and political upheaval. Today, wushu has been organized and systematized into a formal branch of study in the performance arts by the Chinese.
It reigns as the most popular national sport in the country of 1.1 billion people, practiced by the young and old alike. It's emphasis has shifted from combat to performance, and it is practiced for its method of achieving heath, self-defense skills, mental discipline, recreational pursuit and competition. Wushu was a demonstration event during the 2008 Beijing and 1936 Berlin Olympic Games but has never been an Olympic competitive event.
The International Wushu federatioin (IWUF) is the international governing body for Wushu and is bidding for inclusion in upcoming Olympic Games. The Wushu Association of Trinidad and Tobago is the active IWUF affiliate for Trinidad and Tobago.
William G. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, invented volleyball in 1895. He experimented with the new sport by blending elements of basketball, baseball, tennis and handball while keeping physical contact to a minimum. At the time, the sport was called Mintonette.
The tennis net was raised 6 feet 6 six inches off the floor, just above the average man’s height. The name volleyball came about while during a demonstration game, someone remarked the players seemed to be volleying the ball (a term borrowed from tennis) over the net, making its new name more relevant.
In 1900, the first specialized ball was designed for the sport that required it to be lighter than the football (soccer ball) the sport began with. Today, volleyball remains one of the most popular sports, played by over 800 million people worldwide. Professional leagues are played indoors on hard courts or outdoors on sand known as beach volleyball. Special stadia have been built for beach volleyball as the sport has become increasingly popular. In 1947 the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) was founded as the international governing body for volleyball. The Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation is the affiliate body in this country.