In a dusty afternoon in Yangon, the time of the day when the infamous temperature is at its prime, Myanmar Volleyball players are busy preparing for their training session in Aung San Stadium. Despite the scorching heat, all the coaches and the players are actively involved in discussing their strategies for the coming Southeast Asian Games in December. Among the passionate athletes is young Aung Thu. His friendly attitude and distinctive Shan accent make him stand out from the rest.
Aung Thu, originally from Inle Lake, Nyaungshwe Township of Shan State, has been in Yangon for more than 20 months, training for 2013 Southeast Asian Games. Volleyball, being a primary sport in his town, Aung Thu has been playing it since he was 16 years old and was constantly in Student Selection Team. In 2011, Aung Thu was hired by Air Force Club of Thailand to play in Thailand League Game. The prominent player came home proudly with the Champion title, making a milestone in his athletic career.
As the ambitious Volleyball player strives for success, he admits the compromises that have to be made. As he trains twice a day, 6 days a week, he barely has time for his family who are back in Inle Lake. Nonetheless, his family cannot be more supportive of Aung Thu. The young Volleyball player is currently enrolled in Dagon University, pursuing the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Myanmar. However, as he is occupied with his trainings for the coming SEA Games, he has difficulties managing his study hours.
The enthusiastic player proudly admits that he is excited to be a part of the upcoming SEA Games. He hopes for his team to achieve the Gold Metal in the game. After the SEA Games, the flourishing Volleyball player is offered to participate in Thailand Pro League. The energetic and determined Aung Thu hopes to become the best Volleyball player in Southeast Asia.
Kyaw Kyaw Htwe, from Taungoo, Bago Region, is one of the prestige members of Myanmar Volleyball Team training for the Southeast Asian Games. The passionate player comes from a long line of Volleyball players and has been playing the sport for more than 10 years.
Right before Kyaw Kyaw Htwe was chosen to participate in the SEA Games, he played for Air Force Club in Thailand League Game along with his current team member, Aung Thu. Both the professionals are hired to play in Thailand Pro League Game after SEA Games ends.
One of the most experienced Volleyball players from Myanmar team is Win Tun Oo from Mandalay State. The skilled player is said to be one of Myanmar’s first professional players hired by oversea teams.
Win Tun Oo was hired as a professional player by a team in Indonesia and teams in Vietnam for four times. He expresses that even though he managed, it was tricky to work with teams that he was a part of only for a short period of time because different teams have different mentalities.
Moreover, 2013 Southeast Asian Games will be the fourth time that Win Tun Oo will have participated in SEA Games. The experienced professional played in 2007 SEA Games in Thailand, 2009 SEA Games in Laos and 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia. His proudest moment as a Volleyball player was in 2009 SEA Games in Laos, where Myanmar Team defeated Vietnamese Team for the first time and came in third.
The accomplished player’s most exciting time comes after his team has scored 15 points during the game. Because it is then very close for them to win, he is more motivated to perform with his best ability. However, the player states that it is also important not to be taken over by anxiety.
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