Peru’s queen of
Anybody wondering about the health of volleyball in Peru should
ask themselves the following question: where else in the world
would a volleyball coach top a national poll for personality of
the year? This was the case for Natalia Malaga, a medallist with
Peru at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and now coach of the team
who took gold at the South American Youth Championship. The
Peruvian girls’ triumph on home territory in Lima last November
helped ensure that Malaga ranked first in a subsequent national
survey, ahead of Peru’s first lady, Nadine Heredia, and Mario
Vargas Llosa, the country’s Nobel Prize for Literature winner.
Passion for the game
keeps ‘Feñito’ going
It could be down to tenacity, a quality typical of all the most durable
volleyball players, but ultimately it is his love for the sport that keeps
Puerto Rican Luis “Feñito” Rodriguez going at the age of 44. He
is not the outstanding middle blocker of days gone by, but this
volleyball Methuselah was still good enough to lead his Arecibo
team to this year’s Puerto Rico Superior League title, and he was
named Most Valuable Player of the final series. “I have to thank
God for giving me healthy life and allowing me to play for so long,”
said father-of-three Feñito, the oldest player to participate in the
FIVB Men’s World Championship.
Natalia Malaga is
considered a national
sporting treasure in Peru
Luis ‘Feñito’ Rodriguez is still
playing in the Puerto Rico Superior
League at the age of 44