Numbers filing through VoA soar
The Voices of the Athletes (VoA) Facilitators to the 2011 Oceania Pacific Cup Hockey Competition have been pleased with the number of athletes filing through the VoA booth. With 11 teams in total from Australia (2), Fiji (3), New Zealand (1), Papua New Guinea (2), Samoa (2) and Vanuatu (1) participating in the annual event, numbers recorded unofficially after Day 2 of VoA was just over 50% compared with 11% on Day 1. These statistics were to be expected, as Day 1 was ultimately set aside to allow the athletes and management to 'warm up to VoA'.
By Day 2 and the second last day of the VoA outreach, the Ozzies, the Wantoks from Vanuatu, the Kiwis and some of the Fijians had literally taken over the station! Everyone wanted to have a go at the quizzes 'here and now'. It was extremely motivating watching the athletes laugh about the rather personal questions in the STI/HIV quiz, as the STOP HIV Team looked to better understand the sexual behaviors of our Oceania youth, or the excitement in getting an answer right on the electronic quiz - with sound effects and all or thinking deeply about how they, as athletes promote leadership qualities. Whilst the athletes came in teams, some actually teamed up with athletes from other countries to attempt the activities together. This reflected a great sense of camaraderie, friendship and real 'Pacific Spirit'.
Creating a festive atmosphere was one of the 4 goals of the VoA Team for the day. This was certainly achieved, as athletes, managers, spectators and members of the VoA Team interacted with each other - sharing jokes and more importantly sharing information and knowledge on anti-doping, being leaders and encouraging safer sexual practices amongst the sporting community of Oceania.
The VoA Team will again grace the OPC on Saturday 10th December from 9am-1pm. If you are a competing athlete and are yet to visit the VoA station, take it from the other athletes - "it certainly is a MUST DO!"