With an impressive track record that includes participation in seven Pacific Games, three mini games, four commonwealth games, two Olympics, eight Oceania championships, a World Cup, and several other Oceania Cup tournaments, Anolyn Lulu stands as a rare gem in Vanuatu’s sporting landscape.

Lulu, a name synonymous with excellence in Vanuatu’s sports arena, has carved an indelible mark on the global stage through her prowess in table tennis.

Hailing from Banks and Maewo, this remarkable athlete has not only achieved personal milestones but has also been instrumental in putting Vanuatu on the map in the realm of international sports.

Lulu’s journey in table tennis commenced in 1994 when she was introduced to the sport during her school days at Saint Patrick’s College.

A New Zealand couple’s initiative to set up a table in her classroom sparked her interest, and since then, there was no turning back.

Her dedication and passion for the game led her to represent Vanuatu in various regional and international competitions.

Reflecting on her journey, Lulu reminisces about her inaugural appearance at the South Pacific Games in Guam in 1999, where she clinched silver in the team event and bronze in the doubles alongside her partner, Kerry Ann Mok.

Since then, she has been a consistent presence in major sporting events, showcasing her skills and determination.

Her most cherished moments include representing Vanuatu in the Olympics, with her crowning achievement being the merit-based qualification for the prestigious tournament in 2012, making her the first Ni-Van athlete to achieve such a feat.

Additionally, she fondly recalls participating in the Table Tennis Women’s World Cup in Tokyo in 2019, where she, along with her teammates, faced formidable challenges, yet left an indelible mark on the global stage.

Beyond her achievements in sports, Lulu acknowledges the unwavering support of her husband and family, emphasizing the challenges of balancing athletic pursuits with familial responsibilities.

She also recognizes the importance of sports in imparting valuable life lessons such as respect, discipline, and leadership, which she applies not only in her athletic endeavors but also in her family life.

“I am forever grateful to my dear husband who was always there for me whenever my passion led me to represent my country while he stayed back and had to take care of my two beautiful boys,” she commented with pride for her supportive husband Kalwas Kanatika Kaltoi of Mele Village.

Despite her immense contributions to Vanuatu’s sports scene, Lulu remains humble and committed to nurturing future talents in table tennis.

Through her Zumba program and involvement in running VASANOC programs, she continues to promote fitness and well-being among her fellow citizens while advocating for the development of sports infrastructure and resources.

As Lulu gears up for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, where she aims to qualify once again, her journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes across Vanuatu.

With her unwavering determination and passion for the sport, she embodies the spirit of resilience and excellence, continuing to shine as a beacon of hope for Vanuatu’s sporting aspirations.

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SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST