Martina Guiggi: a jump over the linguistic boundary
Zurich, Switzerland, October 12, 2013 – She definitely stands out in the team of Guangdong Evergrande: Martina Guiggi. The blond European is one of three foreign players in the roster of China’s top team Guangdong Evergrande. The situation is totally new for the 29-year old Italian middle blocker as it is the first time in Martina’s life she is playing for another than an Italian team. Two weeks ago, Martina Guiggi moved to Asia to discover a fully new world: “It’s amazing. The food, weather and the size of the cities are totally different compared to Italy. However, it’s so exciting for me as a person and player.”
Financial crisis as opportunity
The financial crisis was one of the reasons why the Italian national team captain decided to seek her fortune in the Far East: “It’s a hard situation for volleyball in Italy at the moment. It’s difficult to find sponsors and keep the level at the highest level. I thought a lot about a change to another country. As I got the offer from Guangdong, I eventually decided to dare it. Playing in China is a big chance for me!” An important help for her decision were Carolina Costagrande’s encouragements: “My teammate from Italy’s national team had already played in China. She advised me to grasp at this opportunity.” Martina Guiggi decided to leave the mild climate of Torino, where she played for two years, and discover the hot and tropical weather in China’s biggest city in the south-east.
However, the Italian national player is not only challenged by new weather conditions and a different lifestyle, but most of all by the language: “We still experience communication problems on the court. As the three foreign players don’t speak Chinese and the Chinese players don’t speak fluently English, we’ve had to find another way to communicate.” Martina Guiggi wants to overcome this obstacle and is willing to work hard for a better understanding: “I want to learn some Chinese now. I’ve already learnt some volleyball words during our trainings. I can say “I want the ball”, “higher”, “setter” and “slide” in Chinese, but I definitely need to learn more.”
Semi-final duel against Europe’s top team
On Saturday afternoon (15.00 local time), Martina Guiggi and her new teammates need all their power and speed to challenge Europe’s top team Vakifbank Istanbul in the first semi-final of the 2013 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship. The Italian middle blocker knows that her team have to improve their level: “We had a short preparation phase as the national team players came back from international competitions. Nevertheless, we want to grow together and show our strength today.”