Serve, set, spike . . . Sport Waitaki co-ordinator Pip Sutton and Waitaki volleyball programme leader Cavanagh Saumanaia are getting volleyball off the ground for junior secondary school pupils. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Cavanagh Saumanaia has made volleyball his passion.

He has spent the past six years getting Oamaru’s Tuvaluan community involved in the sport and now, alongside Sport Waitaki co-ordinator Pip Sutton, Sumanaia is broadening his scope.

The Waitaki Volleyball Programme leader is hosting 10-week sessions throughout Term 1 and Term 4, teaching junior secondary school pupils how to play the sport and getting more young people active.

The programme, which starts on February 4, will involve skill sessions for the first three weeks, which pupils have to attend to play in the round-robin competition between the various school teams held in the following weeks.

Saumanaia had taken Tuvaluan teams to competitions in the South Island and Seventh-day Adventist Church competitions, and he was excited to introduce more of the community to the sport.

‘‘My whole idea was just to get everybody involved and hopefully get some players from Oamaru to make the national teams,’’ Saumanaia said.

‘‘We have a lot of talented kids in Oamaru.’’

Sutton said she was ‘‘stoked’’ to have Saumanaia leading the free programme, funded by Tu Manawa Active Aoteroa.

There had been massive interest from Waitaki schools already and it was another option for young people to get active.

‘‘There [are] lots of those kids that don’t play more than one sport. It’s just getting more kids involved and more kids being active,’’ Sutton said.

The Waitaki Volleyball Programme, at the Waitaki Community Recreation Centre, starts on February 4, and runs from 4pm to 7pm.

For more information about the volleyball programme, contact Sutton on 029 434 9379 or at