The Vanuatu Association of Sports And National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) have officially announced Team Vanuatu who are set to participate in the upcoming Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Vanuatu Team will compete against 4,000 athletes, aged 15-18 from 206 countries in the Argentinian capital across the 10 days of competition, running 6-18 October.
Team Vanuatu`s Chef de Mission, Yannick Jacobe, congratulated the team on their selection and added,
“For us it will be Learn & share, as we all know it is always hard to compete against big nations even at the youth level. So in terms of performance, if the athletes / the teams, give they’re best on the field with great sportsmanship and attitude, anything can happen.
“For most they will set new personal best in the competitions. But no matter the results, it can only be very positive for them and for us.
“Competing in regional and qualifying events is already big for these young athletes. So Youth Olympics it's definitively a much higher step and a great experience and opportunity for them to meet, discover and learn. "Learn" the maximum and "share" your experiences and your culture so that when you return home you can share what you have learned because you will become role model.
“Most of the athletes who attended the last 2 Youth Olympic Games have become top athletes in senior teams in their respective sports as well. For example, Dicky Mael (athletics YOG2014) Loti Joe in Beach Volleyball (YOG2014), Ronaldo Wilkins & Waiwo Kalmet (YOG2014), Selonie Iaruel, Barry Mansale, Raul Coulon, Chanel Obed, Santino Mermer etc in Football.”
Team Vanuatu`s Youth Olympic Games Team is made up of a women’s beach volleyball pairing, a long distance Athlete from Athletics and both the male and female U18 Hockey sides. Hockey 5s will boast the largest sport section though, with both the female and male Team competing at Youth Olympic Games for the first time.
VASANOC CEO, Henry Tavoa, said,
“It is one of the opportunities available to Vanuatu as a country due to the limited amount of sports we can participate in.
“From our past two participations at the Youth Olympic Games (Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014) particularly sports like football had a great opportunity to come out first as well as in athletics with one of our athletes reaching the final back in 2014.
“For certain sports it is a great challenge though, but this time out, for us, hockey has an advantage in terms of the 5 a side format and so it is certainly not beyond us to challenge the best. Of course Beach Volleyball are also big names and already have a name internationally but it is always important not to underestimate other teams.”
Both the mens and womens Hockey sides will undoubtedly go into the games as underdogs. However having boasted impressive results in qualifying and winning both the male and female competitions Team Vanuatu are undoubtedly expected to produce some upsets in the shorter Hockey 5`s format.
Beach Volleyball also continue their development and climb up the world stage sending two of Vanuatu`s finest young female Beach Volleyballers to the games, with Athletics rounding out the trio of sports sending long distance runner Dick Kapalu.
The entire Youth Olympic Team, plus the 8 selected officials, will come together weekly for team bonding sessions beginning next week and leading up to the departure date with the Athletes Commission.
Ravo Maybel, Tebeim Luduine
Iawila Lovis, Misak Jessy, Katmatem John, Nukur Jeremy. Job Nicholsen, Lily Jossie, Namak Jetro Simeon Francois, Nulak Stephen, Muliaki Inias
Tugon Nerry, Johny Tolsi, Aru Delliah, Yalou Joana, Hinge Rosemary, Noal Anna, Aru Naomie, Kenni Shania Larisa, Kalo Liana, Nalin Melody
Jacobe Yannick (Chef De Mission), Malau James (Vanuatu Rep Olympic In Action Forum/ Gtm), Toares Joshua (Coach - Beach Volleyball), Namri Alexandre (Coach – Athletics), Maltungtung Nasse (Coach - Hockey Boys), Kitto Todd (Tm - Hockey Boys), Bowtell Jennifer (Coach - Hockey Girls), Kalsav Aru Kathleen (Tm - Hockey Girls), Homu Christelle (Young Change Maker), Nganga Eileen (Vanuatu Rep Olympic In Action Forum)