Vanuatu beach volleyball team faces financial troubles and forced to withdraw from competitions

Vanuatu beach volleyball team faces financial troubles and forced to withdraw from competitions

Vanuatu beach volleyball team faces financial troubles and forced to withdraw from competitions

Updated 12 November 2013, 13:05 AEDT

Vanuatu's women's beach volleyball team is withdrawing from upcoming European tours due to lack of funds.

Vanuatu's highly successful women's beach volleyball team has been forced to withdraw from upcoming European tours because of a lack of funds.

Vanuatu is the highest ranked Oceania team and teams just finished 5th and 6th at the Asian Beach Championship.

The team's manager Debbie Masaufakalo told Pacific Beat they are finding it difficult to pay airfares to Europe and it is the biggest cost to the team at the moment.

"You're looking at between $15,000 and $25,000 just in airfares so it's always been a struggle for us," she said.

"Fifty-three per cent of our budget is airfares so it's the airfares that we struggle with.

"If we don't get an airline partner on board, it's not going to be possible because it's just huge amount of money for us."

The team's financial troubles are also hurting the players. Each of them are getting paid about US$55 per week.

The women's team is the only Pacific team to be on world tour and they enjoy much support in the region.

"Beach volleyball and the girls have a huge profile, they're so much loved by the people of Vanuatu, praised by the government," Ms Masaufakalo said.

"They are an inspiration to the country, an inspiration to the Pacific women all over the world that they can can follow their dream and go after it.

"We are the Pacific team, we are loved by the Pacific."

For now, Ms Masaufakalo says the team plans to travel to neighbouring countries to attend as many competitions.

"We've also the next year's youth Olympics in China so we're going to try to split up the teams with a couple of juniors," she said.