Volleyball By RAMCY WAMA Many highlanders think the game of volleyball is only meant for the people living in the coastal areas – think again – the Highlands Volleyball Championship has taken the game to greater heights. Since the establishment of the Highlands Volleyball Championship in 1999, volleyball is breaking barriers in most parts of the highlands region dominated by rugby league. The Remembrance Day long weekend was an exciting moment for the youths throughout the highlands region who had travelled to Mt Hagen for the 19th Highlands Volleyball Championships Thirty-two registered teams from the region, including a team from Ramu Valley in Madang province registered to partake in the competition at the Queen’s Elizabeth Park for the four-day event starting last Friday. Highlands Volleyball Championship Association Brian Owa said the executives had faced a tough battle to get the youths out from the rugby league dominated environment to participate in the sport. “To be in an executive member of a game that is least played in the highlands region is a difficult task but eventually after 19 years we have a number of teams from the remote areas participating in the competition,” Owa said. “Over the years, we always have problems with funding, especially when hosting the championship but that doesn’t discourage the youth who love the game. “Our aim now is to target youths from the remote areas to play volleyball as an alternative over rugby league,” he said. Mt Hagen District Sports Association chairman Simon Kama, who was invited to officiate at the competition, urged the leaders and the government to invest more in sports.