To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SIFF supports beach soccer development in North Malaita through TARD

By Joseph Boso, SIFF

The Solomon Islands Football Federation proved its commitment to supporting the development of beach soccer in the grassroots areas by supplying 15 beach soccer balls to the Malu’u Beach Soccer Committee. The handover was witnessed by the local media and representatives of the national beach soccer administrative body.

Speaking at the handover, the SIFF General Secretary, Eddie Ngava, said that this is a historical moment for football development in Solomon Islands. ‘This is the first time for SIFF to assist a local association directly,’ Ngava added. The SIFF General Secretary added that his office is happy with the work that has been done in Malu’u. ‘They came to us with a proposal for assistance and we are happy to respond because they have already done some ground work.’ Ngava stressed that SIFF is willing to support similar initiatives elsewhere in the country where concrete work has been seen.

The balls were received by the To`abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) representatives in Honiara. TARD is a non-profitable and non-governmental organisation set up by students from the North Malaita region. Its aim is to support rural development and community projects including sports development. It was formed in 2007.

The TARD Project Coordinator, Hudson Kalaeda, thanked SIFF for recognising their efforts and supporting their association’s endeavour to foster peace and harmony in the region. ‘We are receiving this equipment on behalf of the people and TARD will make sure that the equipment is used to benefit the people it is for,’ Kalaeda said. Kalaeda also said that his organisation looks forward to working with SIFF in the future for sports development.

‘Currently, our players are using standard soccer balls for beach soccer, even for myself this is the first time for me to see a beach soccer ball,’ TARD spokesperson Peter Fairamo said. Fairamo said that he believed that this support will encourage more young and old players to play beach soccer in North Malaita.

A representative of the Solomon Islands Beach Soccer Committee, Samson Faisi, said that his committee is very happy with the initiative that TARD is taking to develop the sport in the North Malaita. ‘We encourage other associations to see this as an example and make steps to develop their own leagues.’

A number of other associations have expressed the desire to run beach soccer leagues following the continued success of the National Beach Soccer Team in the Oceania region. Gizo and Vella la Vella in the Western Province are rumoured to be planning their own leagues.

TARD will also receive 5 soccer balls from SIFF. The soccer balls will be handed over when they arrive from New Zealand.

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