Beach Volleyball centre court at the Korman Complex was lit up on Friday afternoon with a couple of fun games which featured the Vanuatu Para athletes, who have this past week competed in the 2017 Pacific Mini Games, and the beautiful mamas from the villages of Mele and Eratap on Efate.
These exhibition matches were a part of the Volley4Change program which is set on promoting inclusion not just in volleyball but in all other sports as well.
A group of shy Para-athletes entered the court to start off the first match but after a few passes, serves and laughs everyone came out of their shells and played fun volleyball.
As the game went on, both teams displayed talent and held long rallies which earned cheers of support and admiration from the crowd.
Jessica Richardson, the Sports Disability Inclusion Officer with VASANOC said that this exhibition match was about showcasing the opportunities available in beach volleyball for people with a disability.
“There are Para-volleyball competitions available and this is an avenue for Vanuatu Beach Volleyball and Vanuatu Paralympic Committee to explore,” said Richardson.
“It was all about having fun but also getting the message out that volleyball can be inclusive for all members of the community through their Volley4Change program.”
At the end of the match, everyone was all smiles and Richardson highlighted that all the Para-athletes who participated did not want to stop playing and are now talking about starting a Para-volleyball competition.
This match was never about winning but all about showing people that sport can be for everyone and a little bit of inclusion can go a long way.
The second match of the afternoon featured Mamas from the biggest village in Vanuatu, Mele, and Mamas from Eratap village.
Orange, Blue and Brown island dresses swayed on the court as mamas from the two villages danced on the sand and moved for the ball.
All the ladies complimented each other with their different personalities on the court which made the match fun to watch but also very informative in spreading the message that volleyball is for everyone.
Eratap mamas won the match with two straight sets at the end of the program which showed that sport is indeed for everyone.
By Melissa Fare