To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

North Malaita 2006 Christmas Games successfully completed

The first ever free North Malaita Christmas Games was successfully completed in Malu’u on December 23, 2006 with a total of 59 soccer teams and 18 netball teams from both the North Malaita and Lau/Baelelea Constituencies.

This free tournament is part of several community development initiatives implemented by the To’abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student voluntary group, and kindly sponsored by the Australian High Commission office in Solomon Islands in partnership with TARD. The Australian High Commission office had donated $3,680 towards the games while TARD sponsored the soccer and netball trophies.

According to the Chairperson of the TARD sports organizing committee, Mr. Alwyn Danitofea, the games was tagged as the best ever witnessed in the history of North Malaita as it was supported by both the Australian High Commission and RAMSI representatives, North Malaita chiefs, participating teams and spectators.

The games have set a new precedent for sporting activities in North Malaita as the first tournament to kick off its program at 9.30am on day one. The normal practice nowadays in North Malaita prior to the games is that day one program usually begins late in the afternoon with very few matches. In addition the total number of participating teams, particularly 59 soccer and 18 netball teams, has surpassed any previous ordinary tournaments in Malu’u as the average maximum for past games was around 27 soccer teams.

Reports from the TARD organizing committee stated that the opening ceremony of the North Malaita Christmas Games began on December 20 at 9.30am with speeches from representatives of the Australian High Commission office, Gabrielle Stewart; RAMSI; Malu’u community house of chiefs; Malu’u Community High School and TARD. This was followed by the curtain raiser while intervals were filled with contemporary dancing by Loina Primary School children from Gwaunasu’u Village. The matches kicked off after 11am and netball was completed at the end of day one whilst soccer continued until December 23.

Community teams that have won the various prizes are as follows: For soccer; first prize of TARD trophy plus $1000 went to Folotana, second prize of $500 was awarded to Faufanea, and third prize of $300 was shared between Aurafu and Green Snails. For netball; first prize of TARD trophy plus $300 went to Green Snails, second prize of $200 was presented to Dry Kaibia girls whilst third prize of $100 was scooped by Columbia girls.

Therefore, TARD is grateful towards the Australian High Commission in Solomon Islands for sponsoring the games as it has successfully achieved all the anticipated outcomes. TARD is also thankful to the various community representatives in North Malaita including the participating teams for soccer and netball, referees, spectators, and others for the great enthusiasm and cooperation shown towards this community development initiative. The North Malaita Christmas Games is intended to be an annual event.

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