Tonga NOC celebrated Olympic Day at Pangai, Ha’apai
The Guest of Honour for the occasion was the Government Representative from the Governor’s office, Rev. Dr. Mohenoa Puloka.
The day belonged to hundreds of children and students who took part in the sporting event and the essay and poem competition.
The program was started at 7.00am with a “Walk-for-Health” for everyone and commenced from the main wharf to the national hospital and return to the Lea-‘ae-Tohi playground. Staff from TASANOC and the Ha’apai Sports Committee organised the route and the walk.
At the completion of the walk, several National Sports Federations set up stations of sporting clinics and children were rotated around to “learn, move and discover” as the Olympic Day theme implied. There were six sports federations who were able to demonstrate and involve in the clinics namely, Netball, Football, Rugby 7’s, Hockey, Boxing and Badminton.
This year, the Olympic Day added an educational aspect to the celebration with essay and poem competitions to primary children from class 3 to class 6. The winner of the essay competition was Siniva Sakopo of Pangai Government Primary School and the poem competition was won by Hingano Finau from Fotua Government Primary School.
The welcoming remarks was conducted by TASANOC Vice President, ‘Amanaki Fakakovikaetau and the message from the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the day was read by Secretary General, Takitoa Taumoepeau. The Guest of Honour in his message also recited a beautiful poem which illustrated the rich cultural ties of the Ha’apai island to the main island of Tongatapu in education, sports, fishing and community.
The day was rounded off with a sporting competition by secondary schools in Netball and Rugby 7’s. The winner for the senior grade (boys) in rugby 7’s was Ha’apai High School and the junior grade was won by Taufa’ahau College. The netball competition (girls) was won by Ha’apai High School.
On behalf of the President and members of the Executive Board of TASANOC, we would wish to extend our sincere gratitude and a “big” thank you to the Hon. Minister of Education, Penisimani Fifita and his staff for allowing the participation of government primary and secondary school in the program. Further, to the President of Ha’apai Sports Committee, Dr Tevita Vakasiuola and his staff and members of the committee for all the support and assistance during the event. Also to all the teachers of both primary and secondary schools 9and non-government schools) who were involved in the day as well as parents and guardians who were there. A special acknowledgement is extended to the guest of honour, Rev. Dr Puloka for his time and support that made the day a memorable one. Last, but not the least, to all the staff and development officers who travelled from Tongatapu to Ha’apai, “Malo e Ngaue”!.