A contingent of Ni Vanuatu crew members from P&O Cruises’ have flown in to the Gold Coast as a special cheer squad for Vanuatu women’s beach volleyball stars Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu as they seek to win a medal for Vanuatu at the Commonwealth Games.
The crew members attending the semi-final and medal rounds of the women’s beach volleyball competition at the Games are ambassadors for the many Ni Vanuatu staff who work across the P&O fleet in line with the cruise line’s commitment to sharing the economic opportunities of cruising.
They arrived on the Gold Coast to the news that Miller and Linline had stormed into the semifinals after defeating England 2-1 in a three-set thriller.
The P&O Pacific Partnership, which is funded by guests’ voluntary contributions on each cruise booking, is already supporting accommodation costs for Miller and Linline enabling them to compete. Miller is mother to seven month old Tommy and children cannot stay in the official athletes’ village.
Sture Myrmell, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, said four Ni Vanuatu crew members from Pacific Aria flew to the Games from Cairns and will re-join Aria in Brisbane on Friday.
“It is an exciting time for the people of Vanuatu as Miller and Linline follow their dreams of winning a Commonwealth Games medal for Vanuatu and it is exciting for all of us at P&O to be able to play a part in supporting their efforts,” Mr Myrmell said.
“Miller and Linline are the pride of their nation and the Ni Vanuatu crew members flying in from Pacific Aria to form an enthusiastic national cheer squad are the pride of our fleet.
“Like Miller and Linline, our Ni Vanuatu crew members are outstanding individuals in their own right, and they are a credit to their nation, to their families and to their colleagues.”
The Ni Vanuatu crew forming the Vanuatu team cheer squad are Caroline Kasten (nearly 19 years’ service with P&O), Tina Dick (three years), Ben Kaltilia (13 years), and Donalyn Gary (eight years) from Pacific Aria.
Vanuatu team manager Debbie Masauvakalo said Miller and Linline are delighted to know that P&O’s Ni Vanuatu crew will be in their corner as they pursue their dreams as proud representatives of their nation. “Our team is excited that the P&O crew have the opportunity to support Team Vanuatu at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. It is always great to have support in the crowd when playing important matches”.
Mr Myrmell also thanked Volleyball Australia for their assistance in enabling P&O Cruises to obtain tickets for the much sought after women’s volleyball competition.n