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Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos

Volleyball gives Myanmar girls a sporting chance

Team game programs help to challenge expectations about female roles in society

Myanmar girls take part in a volleyball training event in Yangon on May 20. (​Photo by Fiona MacGregor​)​

YANGON -- Urban Myanmar may be changing fast. But across the country on Saturday mornings most teenage girls will be at home, helping their families with household chores and doing what is expected of them by wider society -- keeping quiet in the background.

So the spectacle of almost 200 girls running around a park in central Yangon on a recent weekend, yelling loudly, laughing and hitting -- or attempting to hit -- volleyballs over a net, hoola-hooping and taking part in wheelbarrow races, was as remarkable as it was exhilarating.

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