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Tongatapu intercollege volleyball tournament

Fa'avae, David and Piena, Lupe and Finau, Fononga (2017) Tongatapu intercollege volleyball tournament. [Professional and Technical Reports] (Unpublished)

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Volleyball, like other professional sports, can improve students’ physical and psychological capabilities. In Tonga, volleyball is one of the few sports that is acessible to secondary school students. Other than at the club level, volleyball is not played competitively elsewhere in the community. Although volleyball is one of the most commonly played communal sports in the villages, its ongoing and sustainable development is a real concern. Herein lies the goal of the Tongatapu Intercollege Volleyball Tournament (TIVT). Before 2015, despite numerous attempts by the Tonga Volleyball Association (TVA) and individuals as part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs department to maintain and develop a competition for secondary school students; at most, it has been inconsistent. In a Pacific Island nation where very little resources are available to develop the sport, the unfortunate reality is that many of our high school students who have the natural ability, flair and skill to excel in the sport miss out. These students rely on club competitions to help develop them further, however, even at the club competition level, their development is dependent on the few people who are committed to improving players’ skills and knowledge. For volleyball, it cannot be sustained this way. It requires strategic and collective planning and implementation at the grassroot level. Furthermore, it requires collective engagement and a closer collaboration by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Tongatapu Secondary School Principals Association (TSSPA), the TVA as well as the Working Committee. In 2015, the Working Committee (WC) was made up of mainly teachers and other volunteers. The WC’s primary goal was to develop students’ and teachers’ volleyball knowledge and skills (Fa'avae, 2015). With permission from the TSSPA, Tailulu College took responsibility with leading the organisation of the 2015 tournament. Eight schools participated across 6 grades – Under 20 boys and girls, Under 17 boys and girls, and Under 15 boys and girls. The organising committee at the time, now referred to as the WC was vibrant and a respresentative from each of the 7 schools was involved in the planning and implementation of the 2015 TIVT. One positive outcome from the 2017 TIVT was evident in Liahona High School’s participation considering their decision to opt out of all secondary school sporting events in Tonga. Although Liahona High School did not participate in the 2015 TIVT, their inclusion in the 2017 competition was well received. Outcomes of this was evident in the high number of boys as well as girls teams that participated, the number of teams that achieved top placings, and in the number of outstanding players selected as part of the competition. Several factors need to be addressed in order to improve the 2018 TIVT. In spite of some teams registering late i.e., on the actual day of the competition, the WC allowed for this. However, in 2018, strict requirements to late registrations must be put in place. Like the 2015 TIVT, teams still struggled to have the appropriate uniforms. Majority of the teams did not have numbered playing tops and this has been an ongoing concern since 2015. As well, there is a limited number of qualified and experienced volleyball officials in Tonga. Two of the eight umpires allocated to officiate the games at the 2017 TIVT by TVA had volleyball experience as national volleyball players as well as being qualified umpires. There is a strong link between having qualified officials and improving players’ performance. Studies and reports have supported the claim that when umpires/ referees are trained and become qualified, this can have positive outcomes on the level and performance of the players within that particular sport (Cuskelly & Hoye, 2013; Kellett & Warner, 2011; Malhotra, 2016; Olson, 1990; Quill & Clarke, 2005; Trick, Yildiz, & Yunes, 2012; Walters, 2011). The same can be said about having qualified coaches and other organising officials. In 2016, the Asia Volleyball Confederation (AVC) organised a National Referees Chairperson Seminar and Coaching Workshop in Canberra, Australia (Fa'avae, 2016). One of AVC’s primary goals is to help develop game officials at the schooling level. Although AVC works closely with the Oceania Volleyball Association (OVA) and each of the federations from the small island nations which includes TVA, it is clear that there is a strategic focus for improving players and teachers at the secondary school level who are willing to improve their umpiring and coaching knowledge and skills. A closer collaboration between the TVA, TSSPA, and the WC is required. During the August 2017 TIVT, the number of schools, teams, and representatives in the Working Committee (WC) decreased. For example, only 5 schools participated, and Liahona High School and Tailulu College were the only schools to provide representatives for the the WC. Based on the 2015 TIVT, the WC decided to split the tournament – a senior and a junior competition. The 2017 senior competition would involve only the Under 20 and 17 grades whereas the Under 15 grade would make up the junior competition and was to take place in November of that year. However, based on the unavailability of schools and teams, the junior competition did not go ahead. The number of sponsors dropped in the 2017 TIVT. Compared to the 2015 TIVT which was sponsored by Tonga Power Limited, Pacific Media Limited, and the Hahake Volleyball Association, only Pacific Media Limited maintained funding support for the 2017 TIVT. Limited funding was a problem for the WC in 2017. Despite funding support confirmed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the WC was unable to secure this on time. Questions as to whether volleyball will develop at the grassroot level in Tonga like athletics, rugby, and soccer and; whether volleyball can be sustained in future continues to be a central concern for the TSSPA and WC. We believe that a collective approach to the resourcing, development, planning, and implementation of future TIVT is required. Specifically, it requires the collective collaboration between the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Tonga Volleyball Association, volleyball associations/ clubs, TSSPA and the WC.

Item Type: Professional and Technical Reports
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > Institute of Education
Depositing User: David Fa`avae
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 04:34
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2019 04:34

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