#IWD Stories: Sport helps me make a positive impact
In the fourth of our story series for International Women’s Day, Team Up meets Nasse Maltungtung from Vanuatu who has transformed the program he works on to benefit women participants.
Nasse Maltungtung began his journey with hockey as a volunteer in 2015. When he first started, Nasse was very shy and not comfortable to lead or facilitate activities on his own. But when he was on the field with the young people from the program, he was in his element.
Over the following six years, his personal growth and development has allowed him to work up to leading the Hook In4 Health Vanuatu program. Now working as the in-country coordinator, Nasse has made significant adjustments to ensure it benefits more women.
When asked what he enjoys most about his role, Nasse said, “I am involved in sport because I love it. Sport inspires me and helps me to make a positive impact on the lives of the young people I work with. This is why I enjoy working in sport for development and with the Hook In4 Health program.”
Growing and developing alongside the program for many years, Nasse has been able to use his experience to develop new programs that are helping to address the needs of the communities where Hook In4 Health works. Using his local expertise and knowledge, programs have been designed to take into account the unique context of Vanuatu, ensuring that the model is developed from the ground up.
One of Nasse’s main roles is to support and mentor others involved in the program, paying forward the mentorship he previously benefited from. Gill Gemming, Oceania Hockey Federation’s continental development officer explains Nasse’s approach to mentorship. “In his role leading the program in Vanuatu, Nasse feels it is important to mentor and support those around him. As part of this process, he has invited national women’s players to be involved with the program. He thinks it is important to have female role models delivering activities, especially if those activities include girls,” explains Gemming.
“Nasse has grown from a shy individual, to one who leads by example, empowers others and is confident to promote and speak about the program publicly. He is confident and can hold his own and speaks out about the program with partners of all levels,” Gemming continues.
One of the key contributions that Nasse has made to the program is improving the timing of activity delivery. “Nasse’s review of existing programs resulted in changes to the timing of activities to ensure that girls and women’s activities were taking place at a time that was safe, which ensured that participants could travel home from the activities before dark.
“He also scheduled separate times for adolescent boys’ and girls’ sessions to ensure that the health and educational components of the sessions could be facilitated in an environment that was comfortable for everyone. Because sensitive information is discussed, he wanted to ensure that women and girls were comfortable and not embarrassed or afraid to ask questions and participate in discussions,” explained Gemming.
Ensuring the program reached women of all ages, was also one of Nasse’s goals. Gemming explains how a new program targeting village mothers (mamas) is one of Nasse’s greatest accomplishments.
“Mamas in Hockey is an initiative that Nasse started as an outreach program to villages. The program provides women with an opportunity to be physically active, to have fun and socialise with other women. The program has grown and includes multiple locations and an annual gathering, which allows women to meet other women and learn about nutrition, health and wellness,” says Gemming.
“Nasse’s contribution to hockey in Vanuatu has been extensive. He hooks everyone into the game.”