Laughter, cheers and encouraging shouts were all part of the mini Volleyball Tournament held to close the 5th Volley4Change (V4C) program in Luganville.

Teams from Sarakata Dak Kona (SDK) and Sapi 1 played friendly matches to end the 8 week program before healthy refreshments were served by V4C staff.

First prize went to Marum (from Sapi 1) while second and third prizes went to SDK 1 and 2 respectively.

Ms Sandra Rarua from SDK shared, “We’re excited because many of us have lost weight and many centimeters around our waists and hips.

Then getting 2nd and 3rd prize has really lifted our SDK spirits. But even more exciting for me is how much more confident our young women are now.

Many can express their views publicly because we put them into leadership roles for the Volley4Change program.

We even had one young girl with a physical disability who never liked playing Volleyball before, now attending our program each week and playing volleyball confidently.”

Luganville Municipal Councilor Jenny Toa, revealed during her speech, “I thank Volley4Change for not only improving our Volleyball skills but for also providing us with ways to avoid getting NCDs through regular physical activities, health checks and choosing to eat more fresh local kakai.

I enjoyed seeing the women socialize as we united to become healthier women.

We’ve all learned so much from the Volley4Change program and I’m confident that when VVF offer community coaching or refereeing courses next year, many of our women will join so we can develop ourselves to the next level.”

Nadina Tobal, a Marum team member, excitedly shared, “One of the things I wanted from the program was for our team play Volleyball better. We won 1st prize in this tournament so we are playing better thanks to Volley4Change!

Tamami’s Zumba classes also taught us exercising can be fun!” Volley4Change wishes to express its appreciation for the support given by Vanuatu Volleyball Federation (VVF), the Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP), Australia’s DFAT, Australia Volleyball Federation (AVF) and Oceania Zonal Volleyball Association (OZVA) to inspire women in our communities to be engaged in activities that reduce NCDs in Vanuatu families.

The V4C program manager in Luganville, Sarai Stephens, gratefully acknowledges the following people who were involved in delivery of this program: Coaches Rosendale Mata, Primrose Malon and Stanley Toa who provided Volleyball training, Nurse Crisila Tavue from the Northern District Hospital who provided the Health Checks, Ruth Jihingomal from Save The Children, who provided Nutritional Awareness classes and JICA Volunteer Tamami Shimomura, our Zumba instructor.