A group of 16 confirmed Sport Specific Volunteers (SSV) were privileged to get expert training in being assistant referees, line judges and scorers during the Pacific Mini Games.

Beach volleyball trainer, Ms Hellen Catriona Tweedie from Australia, was in Port Vila for five days to train selected Sport Selected Volunteers at the beach volleyball court in Port Vila.

26 SSV were identified, but only 16 turned up for the training, and out them, one is from Tanna, two from Santo, three from Wan Smol Bag Youth centre, and the rest were handpicked from beach volleyball training attendees.

“I have come to Vanuatu to help scorers and line judges for Van2017, including referee training, so they know the rules better, then we have done training specifically to score in international matches and also to be a line judge,” said Ms Tweedie.

“Everyone has learnt a lot; some people had just been involved in BV at community level, some only know regular volleyball, so they all learnt about the rules and the games and they gained a lot of confidence in filling in a score sheets, working together as a team and enjoying the sport.

“Five days of training is enough for them to get the maximum required knowledge and with the test event, I think they are ready. We have had some theory on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Thursday and Friday we had a competition, so they could actually see how competition works, what they have to do as part of competitions, and all of them have improved.

“They will come back again for the test event, again they will improve some more, then when they arrive for Van2017 Games, they will do some more training and go to the competitions.”

Asked about if there will be a follow up of this training, Ms Tweedie said she is working with Vanuatu Volleyball to have people in Vanuatu that can keep in contact with them and keep going with the training in the lead up to the Games in December.

“So it is not just that they are trained now, we have also been working with taking the skills they have learnt back to their local communities.”

Ms Tweedie has run similar refereeing courses in Solomon Islands, and also for the Palau Pacific Mini Games in 2005.

Beach Volley ball would also like to acknowledge the sponsorship of auto dealer Asco Motors for providing transport to all course participants, through its community transport package.

For more information on the progress of Van2017 Pacific Mini Games preparations, please visit our Facebook pages: vanuatu2017, Vanuatu2017Nasiviru or VanuatuEmPawa.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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