Chapuis Stadium’s new improved facilities provided an excellent venue for 33 women from the Chapuis 1 community to become the sixth community in Luganville to join the Volley4Change (V4C) program.

The women came from 3 Volleyball teams — Manaro, Marun and Frangapani — that regularly participate in tournaments during Independence Celebrations and fundraiser activities.

The program started with Coaches Primrose Malon and Stanley Toa doing warm up exercises which caused a lot of good natured laughter amongst the women.

At the end of the program, as V4C staff served healthy refreshments from the local markets, V4C Program Manager Sarai Stephens, interviewed participants about their expectations of the Volley4Change program.

Councillor Jenny Toa, Manaro Team leader, shared, “I believe that Volley4Change will provide activities to help many of our overweight mothers lose weight and help them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We can’t wait to try Zumba.

“We’ve never done it before but it sounds fun”. Councillor Toa also commented that the V4C League which is being organized, will help provide many valuable life skills.

Marun Team member, Nadina Tobal, shared similar thoughts about improved health but added, “Our women want to learn the Volleyball rules and skills properly.

“The trained coaches in the V4C program, will help our team play better during future fundraisers.

“An organised program like this will also encourage women in our community to become more interested in playing Volleyball.”

Frangipani Team Manager Rona Rihai, expressed, “After meeting V4C during last year’s Sanma Day Celebration tournament, I encouraged my youth to play Volleyball. Now they are less involved in unhealthy practices like drinking too much Kava and alcohol.

“Cooperation, leadership skills and taking responsibility have improved.

The V4C program will empower our women to continue avoiding unhealthy practices.

“Better Volleyball skills means better chances of winning tournaments, providing a little additional income to improve our community.”

Volley4Change wishes acknowledge the support provided by Vanuatu Volleyball Federation (VVF), the Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP), Australia’s DFAT, Australia Volleyball Federation (AVF) and Oceania Zonal Volleyball Association (OZVA).

Their support helps to empower women to help reduce the prevalence of NCDs through playing Volleyball, having health checks, exercising regularly and attending Nutritional Awareness Classes.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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