The NODS Project
The NODS Project
NODS stands for "National Olympic Development Squads" and was established in 2003 to be VASANOC's Elite Sport Program.
NODS is VASANOC's Elite Sports Program and was established in September 2003, in order to qualify Vanuatu athletes for the Olympic Games firstly by merit then either through IOC's Tripartite applications or wildcard systems.
The initial funding to kick-start this program was from unutilized VASANOC Continental Progams (National Courses) from 2000-2004 period and since then apart from NF initiatives to source funds elsewhere, OS has continued to be a main source for assistance.
The criteria to be in NODS
1. Sport is an Olympic Sport.
2. Sport is an individual sport.
3. Sport/Athlete must have:
- Won Gold medal in the Pacific Games AND/OR
- Silver in its Oceania Championship competitions AND/OR
- Bronze Medal in Oceania Championships where Australia and NZ were either 1st or 2nd AND/OR
- Placed within 20th Position in World Championships;
4. Sport is eligible for wild card entry for the Olympic Games
5. Sport does not get/have enough funding support from it's respective IF.
The Sports in NODS.
The initial sports in NODS were ATHLETICS, BOXING and TABLE-TENNIS. These sports qualified by being the only Vanuatu sports to win GOLD in the Pacific Games upto 2003 Pacific Games.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL qualified for NODS in 2006 by their SILVER medal win in the Oceania Championships that year.
BOXING was disqualified from the Program in 2005 due to internal personal conflicts. ATHLETICS was disqualified from NODS due to performances in 2013 W&F Pacific Mini-Games, administrative issues in 2014 and performance in PNG2015 Pacific Games.
To date, NODS included TENNIS and JUDO by virtue of their SILVER medal wins in Oceania Tennis and Oceania Judo in 2012 and TAEKWONDO for their GOLD Medal win in W&F Pacific Mini-Games. ROWING was included by virtue of Rower Luigi earning an Athlete's Scholarships for RIO2016 Games.
In total, 6 Sports - TABLE-TENNIS, BEACH VOLLEYBALL, TENNIS, JUDO, TAEKWONDO and ROWING - are now included in this Elite Program.
The Strategy used is to:
1. Build from strong competitive and consistent domestic program;
2. Build from national games and competitions;
3. Build together with the respective NF;
4. Build from what Vanuatu has;
5. Build with realistic aim in mind;
6. Build with assessment opportunities at hand;
The NF's commitment :
1. Be an active up-to-date Member of VASANOC;
2. Remains united internally to enable them to partner VASANOC in the implementation of NODS;
3. Find other sources of income and resources to supplement Olympic Solidarity assistance;
4. Support it's Athletes, Coaches and Officials in whatever way possible;
5. Ensure that it is represented at it's sport-specific competitions at all levels;
6. Secure/Hire/Build/Own facility that will allow Athletes to compete/train in weekly;
1. National level - at National,Provincial, Island/Areas and Club level...
2. Regional level - Melanesian, Mini-SPG, SPG...
3. Continental level - Oceania championships, games...
4. International level - World championships, Commonwealth Games, CYG, YOG....
5. Olympic level - Olympic Games
The success of NODS
Placement of Athletes (David Benjamin & Moses Kamut & Arnold Sorina) in HPTC in NZ for first time.
Kamut wins Gold in 100m in 2005 Palau SPMG with new Van record, 10.6.
Kamut awarded Beijing Athlete Scholarships for further placement in HPTC and participates in Olympics for second time.
In 2008, Athletics awarded DNSS Program.
Athletics continues to be only sport in Vanuatu that wins medals in the Pacific Games, but not winning a medal in PNG2015 has lead to their exclusion from NODS.
VASANOC's initiative to help Athletics get back into NODs is by investing in Equipment for the sport in 2016.
Win Gold in 2003 SPG in Fiji and qualify for NODS.
In 2004, awarded DNSS Program under OS and set-up Gym and participated in Oceania Champs (& Olympic Qualifiers) and won 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
In 2005, disunity within NF leading up to Court Cases disqualified sport from NODS.
In 2015, Warawara won Gold in Oceania Boxing in 56kgs and VASANOC took initiative to help sport get back into NODs by assisting in participation of this boxer in World Championships in Doha where he won his first match against Turkmenistani and lost 2nd match with boxer from host country.
VASANOC included Warawara in Tripartite Invitation for Rio216, and to date, it has been accepted and Boxing will be in Olympics again since 1988!
Administration of sport continues to be a concern.
In 2006, participated in VanGames, built own Courts and organized National Championships.
That year their Ladies Team won SILVER in the Oceania Championships and qualified for NODS.
In 2007, they secure help of AYAD Officer and Womens Team won Bronze in Samoa SPG.
In 2008, they employ a Development Officer and secure sponsors to help them in this and Womens Team win Gold in Oceania Champs!.
Under NODS and with help of sponsors, they secured services of Olympic Gold medalist coach, Steve Anderson and Lauren McCleod to help in coaching.
In 2009, they are awarded Team Support Grant for London 2012 and participate in FIVB Series in China & Thailand and also participate in Vanuatu Games.
In 2010,they are awared the DNSS Program under OS and also win the China Open Championships!
Between 2009 and 2012, they have become the most publicized ni-Vanuatu sport overseas with wins over, Holland, Germany, Spain, Australia, China, Denmark, Greece, Czech Republic, Finland to name a few.
In 2011, they underwent placement at the MMU Cheshire, (NW England) to prepare for their European Tour and participated at the FIVB Olympic-Test Match Event in London beating Greece & Holland.
They won Vanuatu's only Gold medal at the 2011 Pacific Games followed by the 2012 FIVB World Tours win in Korea.
The sport now has a voice in the Asian Beach Volleyball Commission after NF Member, Mike Masauvakalo was voted into this body.
They narrowly missed qualification for the London Olympic on merit.
They participated in their first-ever World Championships in Poland in 2013 and against all odds, came 9th in world after ranking 37th when they entered this competition.
When the whole Beach Volleyball program in NODS started, the sport was ranked 350th in the World.
Their focus is now on qualifiying on merit for RIO2016 Olympic Games and came 17th in the 2015 World Championships in Holland.
In the FIVB Series in Long Beach, USA, the ladies came 5th, but in doing so they beat the Top Seeded Teams from USA, Italy and Brazil. The Brazilians were also current World Champions making this a first in Vanuatu's Sporting History - for a National Vanuatu Team to beat a reigning World Champion in any sport!
In 2015, Miller & Linlin received FIVB Awards.
For PNG2015, VVF only fielded it's Junior Team and made it to the Finals and won Silver!
The sport qualified both it'sSenior & Junior Teams for World Senior & Junior Championships in 2016.
Qualified for NODs with Bronze medal win 2009 Oceania Championships.
First sport to qualify Athlete for an Olympic Games with Nazario's participation in London2012 under Continental Quota.
Participated in Glasgow2014 CGs with Mahit winning 1st games vs Bahamanian Judoka. A first for the sport at this level!
For Rio2016 Olympics under Continental Quota, sport qualified Rexley Theuil but due to work commitments Joe Mahit will be replacing him for Rio2016!
In 2003, Womens Team won Gold in Fiji SPG & qualified for NODS.
In 2004, Womens Team won Gold in Pacific Cup.
In 2005 Womens Team won Gold in the Palau SPMG and become known as "Golden Girls"!
In 2005 Anolyn Lulu is employed as DO for the sport. She also undertakes OS Coach Scholarship in China and San Dominca.
In 2006 Table-Tennis participates in their first Commonwealth Games and awarded DNSS and participate in Vanuatu Games.
In 2007, Golden Girls win Gold in Samoa PG and Pricila Tommy wins Gold in Singles - a Vanuatu record for the Sport in a Pacific Games!
In 2008, Golden Girls cause upset in Oceania Olympic Qualifiers by beating an Australian (first time for Pacific islanders!) and Tommy wins a set against Australia top player. Tommy awarded place under Tripartite Program to compete in Beijing Olympics!
In 2008, Table-Tennis participates in Commonwealth Youth Games.
In 2009, Table-Tennis completed their own Gym. In 2009, Table-Tennis topped medal tally in PMG Competition with 5 Golds. Golden Girls win Gold in Team, Gold, Silver & Bronze in Singles (a first for Vanuatu Sport history in any Pacific Games!) and Gold in Doubles. Men won Gold in Doubles and Gold in Singles for first time!
In 2010, Table-Tennis participated in their second Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
In the 2011 Pacific Games, the sport had to do without star players (Tommy & Sandy), but still won Bronze in the Team Event.
In 2012, Anolyn Lulu and Yoshua Shing qualified on merit for the London Olympics for the first time.
Anolyn becomes first ni-Vanuatu female athlete to qualify in merit for the Olympics.
And she becomes first Olympian to have been an Olympian's Manager (in 2008 Games) before she became an Olympian herself in 2012 Games.
In the Glagow Commonwealth Games, the sport did exceptionally well beat teams like Jamaica and challenge the best from Singapore.The sport has yet to participate in their sport's World Championship competition.
In the PNG2015 Pacific Games, the sport showed signs of their true potential when Yoshua Shing reached the Men's Finals for Gold for the first-time for Vanuatu!
Both Men & Womens Team won Bronze in Team Event in PNG2015.
Yoshua becomes first Ni-Vanuatu athlete to qualify on merit for consecutive Olympics when he did so for Rio2016!!
Since 2013, the sport has participated in the PNG2015 Pacific Games and the athlete that won Gold in 2013, again reached the finals in PNG2015 and got Silver.
They have their eyes set for Oceania's Olympic Qualifiers in 2016 but could not make it via their qualifiers in March 2016 and through the Tripartite Applications.
Since its inclusion in NODS, Tennis has reached the Finals of the Singles, Males Doubles, Mixed Doubles & Team events in the Pacific Games of NC2011 and PNG2015.
Through NODS, Tennis has established the U15 Tennis Regional Championships which has seen the participation of Teams from Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.
Their ANZ Junior Program and this new U15 Competitions, is making Vanuatu stand-out in terms of Junior Development Programs.
Vanuatu's Celement Mainguy won the U14 Pacific Oceania Champions!
Benefits to VASANOC:
Focus on Sports who also TAKE INITIATIVE to excel outside of VASANOC support.
Utlilize more OS Programs on these sports.
Create a program within the country.
Increase number of sports in Commonwealth & Olympic Games.
The next steps?
Document pathways for Athletes/Official from domestic to Olympic levels.
Support eligible Sports to participate in Oceania and World Championships.
Increase competitiveness and consistency of domestic competitions.
Ongoing identification of Athletes/Officials and build broader base in-country.
Incorporate sports education into the training of Athletes/Officials.
Reach out to compete in levels higher than the regional levels.