Lausanne, Switzerland, March 17, 2020 – Volleyball and beach volleyball continue to grow in Tonga where the FIVB Nucleus Plan has helped to support the National Federation (NF) grow the sport throughout the islands.
From elite level to grassroots coaching support, the Projects Platform, which is part of the FIVB Nucleus Plan, has enabled Tonga to invest dedicated resources into developing the talented athletes on the men's and women's national beach volleyball teams.
The Platform is open to all NFs wishing to apply for support in improving the performance of their national teams, and for support with coaching and volleyball equipment. Once an application is successful the NF works in partnership with the FIVB to develop players and teams across the world.
“It provides an excellent opportunity for each athlete to reach their potential while developing their existing skills and learning new ones,” Tonga Volleyball Federation President Tevita Siale said. “In addition, it raises the standard of our national teams so they are better equipped and trained when they compete in local, regional and international tournaments.
Following Tonga's successful application through the FIVB's Projects Platform, the nation received invaluable coaching support.
“The consistent training they receive because of the grant gives them a taste of what sand volleyball is about: team work, staying focused, and never giving up.”
Since 2017, the FIVB has approved a total of 276 projects from NFs. In 2019 alone, 123 applications were submitted, with 113 accepted, demonstrating the FIVB’s clear commitment to support NFs with growing the sport in their country and region.
As part of Tonga’s successful application, the beach volleyball national teams were assigned coach Sifa Latu to help develop the players’ fundamental skills on the court.
“I look forward to bringing out the best in each athlete so they can reach their potential. In particular, helping the athletes get faster while being more mindful and smarter when playing beach volleyball,” Latu said. “Our men's national beach team did well in the 2019 Samoa Pacific Games, placing third and earning a bronze medal, so we hope to improve on this. Across the board, we aim to better our regional standing in terms of beach volleyball finishes.
“One other target the Tonga beach volleyball programme wishes to achieve is improving our Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) participation in 1-4 star events. So be on the lookout for Team Tonga, we are coming!”
The rise of Tonga’s volleyball ambition is testament to the FIVB Nucleus Plan, which has once again demonstrated its importance in the development of volleyball around the world. The Nucleus Plan aims to develop the sport in key markets, which can then act as a model for other countries. Starting with 30 key nations, the FIVB now has more than 120 countries that actively participate in FIVB events, host competitions and bring more television exposure.