Bryton Codd, a 26-year-old Belizean volleyball player, has stepped up his game to another level by signing a two-year contract to play professional volleyball with the Perungan Pojat team in the Mestaruusliga Finnish League in Finland.
Belize Volleyball Association (BVA) President Allan Sharp, national team coach Albert Humes, and his new coach Luis Salgado watched via Zoom video conference as Codd put pen to paper at the Mexico Sports Center on Friday morning, July 2.
Bryton had met Honduran volleyball player Luis Salgado at international tournaments, and Bryton’s athletic prowess, focus and polite manner persuaded Luis to talk about his time playing professionally in Europe, igniting Bryton’s dream to play professionally. Salgado was only the second Central American player to play at this level against the best volleyball players in the world. Recently, Salgado was appointed head coach at Perungan Pojat, and his thoughts naturally turned to Bryton, whom he had observed to have what it takes to play volleyball at this top level. He reached out to BVA President Allan Sharp to contact Bryton, who will now become the third Central American and the first Belizean to play pro volleyball in Europe.
A graduate of Galen University, Cayo, Bryton Codd has recently completed a two year course of study on full athletic university scholarship at Briercrest College in Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada. He and Belizean Karym Coleman both won athletic scholarships to Briercrest in 2019, and as a result they formed the BK Foundation to help other Belizean athletes also win scholarships to university. They busied themselves helping other Belizean athletes to make demonstration videos, to show off their athletic prowess for university coaches in the USA and Canada.
The BK Foundation played a matchmaker role in helping Belizean female volleyballers Fatoumata Ramirez and Gareth Bruce obtain full athletic scholarships to Eastern Wyoming College in the USA on June 7, and also on March 23 helped their national men’s teammates Francis Hauze and Edgar Martinez to win full athletic scholarships to Calumet College of St. Joseph in Indiana, USA. Other beneficiaries of the BK Foundation program are Belizean Alexander Ariola, who won a full scholarship to play basketball with the Briercrest Clippers, and Belizean volleyballer Daril Avila, who is now a second year student of Environmental Science at Concordia University.
Now Bryton is taking on the world, and hoping to carry along other Belizean volleyballers as he tests the waters of playing professionally in Europe. His new team Perungan Pojat is based in Rovaneimi, Finland, where they will be competing against nine other teams in their league, in a tournament which lasts from September to April. This means Bryton will also be available to join the Belize national men’s team for any AFECAVOL tournaments in Central America or NORCECA tournaments, even the Panam Games, as these are all usually played in the summer.
The contract provides the athlete with a salary, accommodation, transportation, and physiotherapists, as well as all meals on workdays or a meal stipend of €100 Euros. Bryton may also qualify for a €500 Euro bonus for outstanding performance in individual matches, of which he can expect to play 45 games in the regular season, possibly 50 or more, if the team makes it to the playoffs and finals.