Miramar native Danielle Perry hoping to bring volleyball gold to Jamaica
Miramar-based volleyball star Danielle Perry is making the Jamaican Diaspora proud, as she sets out for her campaign to qualify for Jamaica at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. With teammates Kai Wright, Alicia Malcolm and Sashalee Wallen, Perry is well on her way to Rio, with their next match scheduled in El Salvador on May 12th through 16th. Team Jamaica will then head on into the finals in Mexico, from June 20th to 27th.
Ahead of her team’s Olympic bid, the National Weekly spoke with the 2015 winner of the RJR Volleyball Athlete of the Year regarding her love for the game and her hopes for Jamaican volleyball in the future.
NW: How did you first get into volleyball? Did you have any particular mentors? What do you love most about the sport?
DP: I was a beginner in 2009 when I started playing fours for fun at a park called Forozonal in Miramar. The people who came to play at the park every Sunday were my mentors and motivators, until I was picked up by my current coach Michael Morales. What I love most about the game is the competitiveness, strategic game play, learning something new and adding it to my game, and of course being on the beach.
NW: What made you decide to represent Team Jamaica?
DP: I was able to represent Jamaica because my mom is from there and I became a duel citizen with the goal of being one of the pioneers in beach volleyball. It [playing] not only brings awareness to a not-so-popular sport, but also creating a legacy for my future and the youth in Jamaica.
NW: You’ve also developed a great partnership with your team members. How did you all develop such a strong dynamic?
DP: My teammates are a set of the most motivated, hardworking, and determined women I’ve ever encountered, so because of our passion for the same goal, we are bound together. Even with odds against us, we found a way to learn from each other in order to become stronger as a team.
NW: What has been your most memorable moment so far playing?
DP: My most memorable moment was when we won the first leg of the Olympic qualifiers. In a deciding set against Cayman Islands, my partner Kai Wright and I rallied back from a 12-6 deficient in a game to win 15-13. To have Jamaica stand behind us and to make our country proud was an amazing feeling.
NW: Tell us about your Olympic campaign. What’s your minimum goal? Where can people donate?
DP: I am personally in discussion with Jamaica Federation to see if I can personally be sponsored, but I will be launching a personal Youtube, blog, and Facebook on March 1.