This week, Vanuatu Volleyball has kicked off training sessions for Sitting Volleyball ahead of the Para Independence Championships to be held on 24 June, in celebration of Vanuatu’s 40th anniversary of Independence, at the newly completed National Fitness and Evacuation Centre in Port Vila.
Partnering with VASANOC, the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee and the Vanuatu Table Tennis Federation, in association with the Smash Down Barriers table tennis sport for development program, VVF under its Volley4Change program will join in a day of competition which underlines sport as an inclusive activity for people with disabilities.
Amid their ongoing beach volleyball training schedule, players from the national squad, alongside VVF coaches, will help to deliver the training, spending each Tuesday at Wan Smolbag and each Wednesday at the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability conducting the Sitting Volleyball sessions for all those interested in participating over the next three weeks.
The sessions will also build on the Sitting Volleyball initiative started late last year when VVF, a member of World ParaVolley, delivered a successful coaching course in both Port Vila and Luganville in partnership with Asia Oceania ParaVolley, igniting a keen interest in the sport in both communities.
Miller Pata, Sherysyn Toko, Loti Joe and Luduine Tebeim were among those in the coaching group who attended the first week of sessions along with VVF coaches Steve Banga, Manu Hotel and Henriette Iatika.
VVF President Debbie Masauvakalo is excited about this event, especially as it will serve to highlight the ongoing growth of para sports in Vanuatu, particularly for volleyball with Sitting volleyball having become a part of VVFs Volley4Change development program and with the anticipated introduction of Para Beach Volleyball training into the VVF family, over the coming year.
“It’s great to see para sports being a focus of this major celebration. Para athletes have done so well in recent years representing Vanuatu and bringing sport to the disability community across the nation,” she said.
“At volleyball we are pleased to already include Sitting and hopefully in the future Para Beach as a part of our programs at a community level and eventually maybe even at representative level.”
Another of the key aspects of this project is how partnerships between sporting and community support organisations are vital to underlining the importance of inclusion through the benefits of sport.
* Volley4Change – a sport for development program which is delivered through a partnership between VVF and Volleyball Australia, supported by the Australian Government through the Pacific Sports Partnerships initiative – will restart its normal schedule when this work is done. The V4C program has at its core the objective of working for and with the communities of Vanuatu for the development and growth of those communities.