At its best
I don’t play much or know much about the rules of the game, but when a school mate asked if I would help out with media work for the Pacific Volleyball Partnership – what could I say? So about eight weeks ago I took on what turned out to be an emotional experience. In Fiji volleyball is considered a minor sport and fails to get the recognition it deserves, especially compared to rugby. Yet the abundance of raw talent amongst those who love to play the game is immense. My friend runs the Pacific Volleyball Partnership as a programme under the Fiji Volleyball Federation. During the last week of October, FVF hosted two major events back to back in six days -- the Oceania Zonal Tournament and the World Men’s Volleyball Championship Phase 1 Qualifiers. The Fiji men’s national volleyball team needed to beat Tonga and New Zealand in order to qualify for the World Volleyball Championship Phase 2 Qualifier to be held in Thailand next year. Our women’s team, however, has already secured a place for Phase 2. For the first three days, men’s teams from Tonga and NZ and both women’s and men’s teams from Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Fiji battled it out in the Oceania Zonal Championships The five Pacific Island countries displayed their volleyball skills with power spikes and blocks. After Fiji Blue had beaten the Fiji Whites, the main team reserved for the World Volleyball Championship Qualifiers, and almost tore apart the NZ team, NZ and Fiji Blue clashed again in the final. But the Kiwis had regrouped and won. Following Team Fiji around in the weeks leading up to the championship,
Fiji Blue and Fiji White Women’s team battle it out.