|Vivian Baella is already a star in Peru. When she enters the arena the spectators go wild. She has a large fan club and has inspired a cartoon on the internet called "Super Vivian."|
One of the most touching stories of this new generation of Volleyball players comes from the 19 years old Vivian Baella. She was raised in the region Rioja, in northern Peru, near the Amazonas jungle. She started to play volleyball when she was nine years old and excelled in a school tournament in her home region.
Spiker Baella had many invitations from different clubs but rejected them, until 2007. Then she accepted the invitation from the Peru Volleyball Federation to take part in the "Talent"-project in Lima. She describes the situation like this;
"I was very skeptical to be away from my mother; I am from a very remote area of ??Peru. However, the proposal of going to try for a place in the national team was a great motivation. Looking back, I am convinced that this was the best decision of my life, I love volleyball”, she said.
Vivian Baella, entered the national team in 2007, and at the age of 14, only four years later she already play her third World Championship (Youth 2007- 2009, Junior 2011).
Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in Peru with 5,000 licensed female players. The project of the Peru Volleyball Federation gathered the most talented players from all of Peru to a permanent center in Lima. They will face everything it takes to be a skilled volleyball player when it comes to match training, nutrition, transportation, education, etc.
"At first it was hard to get used to living with a bunch of girls that I barely talked to before. It's hard being away from your family, when you don't know anyone. But gradually we became one big family and now five of us are in the World Junior Championships, which is a great step on our careers”, she said.
Beside Vivian Baella, four girls from the same project play in the junior national team. Diana Gonzales from Arequipa, Maria de Fátima Acosta from Iquitos, Ginna Lopez from Amazonas and Katherinne Olemar from Piura are all from the "Talent" -project.
“To play a World Championship in our country is like a dream. When we play we have support from the whole country. every match there is almost 5,000 people in the arena, and all our families are here. For example my mother and all my family came to Trujillo by traveling 10 hours by car. And now they will go to Lima for the play off driving nine hours more”, Baella said.
2008 Peru qualified for the World Youth Championship. In 2010 Peru got the bronze medal in The Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and are now ranked as number three in the world, lead by the charismatic former national team player Natalia Málaga, who represented Peru in four World Championships and four Olympic Games.
FIVB Volleyball Women's Junior World Championship
Peru July 22-31