P&O support volleyball girls’ bid for Tokyo
Updated: Oct 2, 2018
P&O Pacific Partnership has committed to supporting the Vanuatu women’s beach volleyball team in its quest to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
A VVF spokeswoman said the team encouraged by its bronze medal win at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Support from the Partnership, which is funded by voluntary contributions from P&O Cruises’ passengers, will help the team’s new pairing, Miller Pata and Shersyn Toko, to compete in international events to meet tough qualifying requirements.
P&O Cruises, Australia’s home-grown cruise line which has been cruising to the South Pacific for more than 85 years, supported the Vanuatu team with accommodation costs outside the official athletes’ village during the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Miller, who won the bronze in partnership with Linline Matauatu, was unable to stay in the village because she was nursing her son, seven-month old Tommy, as she campaigned for Vanuatu’s first team Commonwealth Games medal.
P&O Cruises also flew a contingent of Ni-Vanuatu crew members from Pacific Aria to be courtside on the Gold Coast to cheer on the Vanuatu duo during the exciting and highly competitive medal series.
Vanuatu had earlier narrowly missed out on selection for the Rio Olympics Games in 2016. Miller and Shersyn are currently competing in Asia on a mission to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“Everyone at P&O Cruises followed the Vanuatu team’s progress at the Commonwealth Games and cheered their success in taking home the bronze medal,” said Sture Myrmell, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises.
“We are just as proud and excited that the P&O Pacific Partnership is supporting the team as Miller and Shersyn fly the flag for Vanuatu in the tough international competition on the path to qualifying for Tokyo in 2020.
“In addition to being fantastic athletes and wonderful ambassadors for their country, Miller and Shersyn are great role models in their own communities.
“It seems very natural for the Partnership to be supporting Vanuatu Beach Volleyball in this way because over many years P&O has established such a strong relationship with the people of Vanuatu.”
President of the Vanuatu Volleyball Federation, Debbie Masauvakalo, said Miller and Shersyn were a very strong combination and highlighted the growing depth and capability of the Vanuatu team.
“Vanuatu Volleyball is honoured and delighted to know that the P&O Pacific Partnership is supporting the team as it takes on the challenge of being among the 24 teams to qualify for Olympic competition,” Debbie said.
“We know it is not easy to qualify and seeking to do so is very expensive with extensive international travel to qualifying rounds and other costs so the Partnership’s support is very welcome.”
To qualify for the Olympics, athletes must have participated in a minimum of 12 international qualifying tournaments from September 2018 through to June 2020. The P&O Pacific Partnership support will the cost of travel, accommodation and training.
By: Vanuatu Beach Volleyball