Cultural program off to a strong start in Myanmar


The sun has set over Myanmar and the first day of the Asian Sports Partnership program, matching up Volleyball Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with Women Win and Girl Determined to deliver a 10 day volleyball and cultural exchange program.

The project is the first of its kind in what is hoped will be a long partnership where Australian representatives will work with 40 local female coaches promoting sport for development, women in leadership positions, self advocacy, and sharing technical volleyball knowledge in a cross cultural exchange.

The Australian team, led by recently appointed head coach Sarah Nur, has prepared for months for this trip of a lifetime.

and we checked in on the team to find out what their first impressions on ground have been.

Team member Nat Charlton’s comments below indicate that this ground breaking tour might just exceed all expectations!

“Our first impression of the Sports Diplomacy Tour is that it is going to be an even more incredible experience than we imagined,” team member Nat Charlton said.

“We arrived in Myanmar on Monday after a long day of travel and joined the women from Girl Determined and Women Win. We spent the first two days finalising the planning of the camp.

“Being part of this team of women, all with such varied backgrounds and nationalities, is an awesome learning experience, and has given us an idea of how development and sport can come together to create community change.”

The program presents plenty of challenges, not least being the obvious language barrier. But Charlton said the interpreters were making everything run smoothly.

“We have just finished our first day of the camp and it was fantastic,” she said.

“We met all the participants, who have travelled from all over the country to be here, and hit the ground running with a round-robin tournament.

“It was very exciting to see how enthusiastic everyone is about the program and exchanging ideas across cultures, as well as playing volleyball. We can’t wait for the week ahead.”

The ASP program is an Australian Government initiative funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, partnering with Volleyball Australia in working relationship with Women Win and Girl determined.

For more information on this program, and the positive impact that Volleyball Australia is having through sport for development initiatives in the Asia Pacific region, follow us on:

FB: @WomenWin @VolleyballAustralia @dfat.gov.au @GirlDeterminedMM @ColorfulGirlsMM

Twitter: @Women_Win @ausvolley @dfat @GirlDetermined #StrongGirlsinMyanmar #GirlsLeadThroughSport #AsianSportsPartnerships #sportdiplomacy

Lauren Soderberg