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Nazima Aishath Nazima, ace spiker of the Maldives women' s volleyball team.
Volleyball lessons for Maldives minnows


23 Nov 2010
Guangzhou, China: With a record of played five, lost five, you would expect the Maldives women’s volleyball team to be down in the dumps. Far from it. They are having a great time in Guangzhou, and feel they can only benefit from the high-speed volleyball lessons they are learning from the likes of Asian powers Japan, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei.

Furthermore, the fans at Guangwai Gymnasium are cheering their every point – even though the highest they have reached in any one set is a very modest 10, against Chinese Taipei.

“This is our first Asian Games and we are just getting prepared for the South Asian Federation Games next year,” says Nazima Aishath Nazima, the 30-year-old ace spiker.

“The opponents are very good and this is a great experience for us. We have never faced this kind of attack and block before,” she adds. Another new experience is the atmosphere inside the stadium, where the local fans have encouraged the Maldives minnows from start to finish.

“The stadium is beautiful,” adds Nazima, a police officer back home in Male but powerless to stop anything here. “The people are very welcoming and we are being treated so well. They have been cheering for us all the time. We have never played in an atmosphere like this before.”

Nazima says volleyball is the second most popular sport in the Maldives after football, but this did not stop her winning the Female Sports Personality of the Maldives 2010 award.
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