Topic: if we play to the best of our abilities, it will be good," Daniel sai
NANJING [url=http://www.cheappenguinshockeyjerseys.com/Mario-Lemieux/]Cheap Mario Lemieux Hat[/url] , China, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Still searching for their first win at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, the Vanuatu's girls beach volleyball team has already made a small step forward in a much bigger journey for women in the Pacific country.
Vanuatu, with a population of 250,000, is best known for its beaches, volcanoes [url=http://www.cheappenguinshockeyjerseys.com/Matt-Murray/]Cheap Matt Murray Hat[/url] , mysterious cults and inspiring the invention of bungee jumping with its "land diving" rituals. But the island nation rarely merits a mention in the world's sporting media.
Now beach volleyball is gradually changing that, while transforming perceptions of the role of women in traditional Melanesian society.
The sport has been growing steadily in popularity in Vanuatu over the past decade, thanks to the success of its senior women's team, Miller Elwin and Henriette Iatika.
The pair narrowly missed out on qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games and finished ninth in last year's FIVB world championship in Poland.
Vanuatu's Nanjing 2014 women's team, Loti Joe and Floflo Daniel, hope to one day emulate Elwin-Iatika pair's success on the world stage.
"I've watched them play and I want to be like them in the future," Joe said.
"They have encouraged us to play and to get to where they are."
Daniel has the same aspiration. "They have given us advice [url=http://www.cheappenguinshockeyjerseys.com/Sidney-Crosby/]Cheap Sidney Crosby Hat[/url] , telling us to try not to give up our games and to train harder if we want to be like them. I'd like to carry on with this and reach international level."
Elwin-Iatika combination has changed the face of sports participation in Vanuatu.
Both young mothers in a country where traditional culture remains strong, they have become role models for budding sportswomen, according to Joe and Daniel's coach, Andrew Ngeh of Australia.
"For women in Vanuatu, seeing the success that Henriette (Elwin) and Miller (Iatika) have had is quite inspiring," Ngeh said.
"They both came from the outer islands where, although it's a bit of a generalisation [url=http://www.cheappenguinshockeyjerseys.com/Jake-Guentzel/]Cheap Jake Guentzel Hat[/url] , most women their age would be staying at home, looking after the kids and the house. But they've had the opportunity to go overseas and play beach volleyball against some of the best teams in the world and be ranked up there with the best in the world."
Ngeh says Miller and Henriette are also taking a leadership role with the next generation of Vanuatu players, including Joe and Daniel.
"If they see these girls, or the boys, doing something that they don't think is good, like not turning up to training or turning up late, which was a bit of an issue at the start [url=http://www.cheappenguinshockeyjerseys.com/Phil-Kessel/]Cheap Phil Kessel Hoodie[/url] , they'll rip into them and tell them that it's not acceptable, which is good," Ngeh said.
"If you think about Floflo (Daniel) and Loti (Joe) in 10 years time, having been on the world tour and all that, they'll be a lot more confident in their talking and their playing and everything. I think beach volleyball has given them good opportunities to grow as individuals."
Ngeh says that around 150 juniors and seniors play beach volleyball in Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, each week.
"It's probably unofficially the most popular sport in Vanuatu if you combine indoor and beach volleyball [url=http://www.cheappenguinshockeyjerseys.com/Patric-Hornqvist/]Cheap Patric Hornqvist Hoodie[/url] ," Ngeh said.
"Pretty much every village in Port Vila or the outer islands has a volleyball court. You don't need a lot of space and it can just be on dirt, so usually they just have two bamboo sticks and a very simple net."
16-year-old Daniel and 17-year-old Joe have nine years' volleyball experience between them but had never played together before the Games.
They were selected to pair up at an April training camp in Port Vila, where they were identified as having strong potential for the Youth Olympic Games.
"Win or lose, we will always be happy and if we play to the best of our abilities, it will be good," Daniel said.
Ngeh admits that the often-overwhelming environment of a Youth Olympic Games is a world away from Joe and Daniel's lives in Vanuatu.
"This is one of the biggest youth sport events in the world, so to come here and be in such a big crowd of people and have to train [url=http://www.cheappenguinshockeyjerseys.com/Evgeni-Malkin/]Cheap Evgeni Malkin Hoodie[/url] , have team meetings, analyze training, and do stretches and yoga, the girls have done really well," he said.
"I'm very proud of them and no matter how they go in the tournament, as long as they try their best and put in 100 percent effort then there's nothing more I can ask for."
DanielJoe lost their first three matches. To qualify for the round of 24, they must win their remaining two matches [url=http://www.cheappenguinshockeyjerseys.com/Kris-Letang/]Cheap Kris Letang Hoodie[/url] , against Australia and Russia, and hope other results go their way.
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