Sport is valuable driver of intercultural exchange. Volleyball is the most played sport in the world. The Norwood Bears Volleyball Club believes that volleyball, as a truly global sport, has a role to play as a bridge between diverse cultures.
We often hear about the ‘Asian Century’ and the economic opportunities that it will bring, but Australia should not think of our Asian neighbours simply as a potential market for our resources. Australia needs to develop strategies for a more complete engagement.
The model that the Norwood Volleyball Club has developed has been enormously successful in develop a deeper understanding of the host country on the part of the Australian players involved, as well as giving the host participants a positive experience of Australian people.
Volleyball is the most played sport in the world and is a popular participation, as well as spectator, sport in Thailand – particularly for females.
The tour to Thailand is also an opportunity for 12 young South Australians to experience a culture and a country that is in a period of important change. Thailand remains an important country in the region.
Such exchanges are an important way of developing strong people-to-people links between Thailand and Australia.
This will be the first tour that the Club has undertaken specifically for the League Women’s team.
The tour will begin with matches and training in Bangkok. Matches will then be played in Chiang Mai, at the University of Chiang Mai, which will help us promote the brand of one of the project’s major sponsors, Study Adelaide.
In Bangkok, the players will speak at the Urban Neighbours of Hope and whilst in Chiang Mai, the team members will also conduct coaching clinics at the Haven Foundation.
There will also be numerous opportunities to engage with local schools and university classes.
The players representing the Norwood Volleyball Club will come in friendship, as ambassadors for our club and country, but with a strong desire to compete on the court.