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Vanuatu girl’s paving the way for women’s football and need your support

They are planning to be the first women’s football team from Vanuatu to tour Australia! The group is Vanuatu’s first Under-17 national team who will compete in Oceania’s U-17 World Cup Qualifiers in 2014.
For the past three months the players have been training twice a week, playing games on Saturday and then using any free time to hold fundraising events to raise the money required for the Australian tour, which is planned for 1st – 8th September 2013. The coaching staff includes Vanuatu’s first Women’s Football Development Officer, Rorona Kalsakau, who believes the tour is a great opportunity to educate the players on more than just football.
The coaching staff has made it clear to the players that they themselves need to work for the privilege to be part of this tour. “We have the chance to teach the girls good work ethics and how to interact with people in a work environment. They have run food stalls at local Men’s and Women’s Senior games, donation booths by the Cruise ship stalls and have organised family fundraising events to help fund their tour. These are invaluable skills to have in a country whose major income comes from tourism” said Vanuatu’s Women’s Football Development Officer Rorona.
The tour itself has come about through a partnership between Vanuatu Football Federation and Avalon Soccer Club from Sydney, Australia. The Avalon U/16 girls toured Vanuatu in 2012 and again in 2013. During these tours the Avalon girls visited local schools and communities and conducted skills/training sessions, and played friendly games against school teams and Vanuatu U17 girls. The Avalon team also donated new and used football gear and books to the schools they visited. The 2012 tour earned the Avalon team the Football Federation Australia Junior Team of the Year award. John Ross, the Avalon Team Manager said that “our tour of Vanuatu was such a resounding success, and we met some of the most amazing people, that we are committed to getting this team out to Australia to pay back some of the hospitality they showed us. We busy are holding fundraising events to assist the Vanuatu girls to make their football dream a reality”.
The Vanuatu girls will visit Avalon and stay with local families. They will play games against elite representative teams of Sydney University and Manly-Warringah, Barrenjoey’s a local school and the Avalon Football Club. “Although our cultures are very different, our mutual love of football gives us a common bond”, says Rorona. “Many girls from Vanuatu are not exposed different cultures and when confronted with them later in the work or social environment, are often scared by those differences. This tour is a great way to show the girls a western culture and how it all works”. Not only would the tour provide the players with a cultural, sporting and educational exchange, it is an opportunity to provide them with a potentially life changing experience.
The Vanuatu Football Federation believes this team will foster the future leaders and role models for jobs within women’s football in Vanuatu. They hope the team’s activities and hard work will show younger and older generations that football can educate and provide opportunities for women. The VFF hope that potential sponsors see this and support these players’ efforts, for paving new roads is never easy and often controversial. Change is never accepted by all, but who can deny that providing these young women the opportunity to forge a new path in their country is not worthy of the very least your attention.
The team is currently looking for sponsors to help them reach their goal. If you would like to help please contact Rorona at klauriane10@yahoo.fr there are many benefits for any organisations looking to support its community and for exposure on a local or international scale and to.

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