Children in southern Thailand jump at chance to learn from national women’s volleyball team
In Yala, around 250 young students had been invited to join the festival. But more than 450 youngsters turned out to register for the activities held in and around the 4,000-seat Chang Puek Gymnasium.
It was a good opportunity for those youngsters to participate in an event providing a fun, enjoyable and competitive environment. For the women’s team, it was a chance to celebrate their fourth-place finish at this year’s FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix – their best ever showing.
The festival included a three-hour class, featuring basic volleyball skills performed by the 12 national players – all of whom competed in the 2012 FIVB World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan and the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix. The young participants then assembled into 20 teams of three for a competition.
The Thailand Volleyball Association, led by president Somporn Chaibangyang, also brought a group of players to Yala who had all benefitted from the 2001 FIVB-supported Thailand Young Talents Project. That development project enrolled a group of around 15 to 18 young players a two-year long-term training programme in Yala under the guidance of coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai.
With the FIVB’s support, this young Thailand team finished fifth in the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ Youth World Championship in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This group of players, all of whom are now over 30 years of age, returned to the province to express their gratefulness to the kind support of the Yala residents during their two-year stay in the region.