The North Malaita 2009 Christmas Games kicked off yesterday at Malu’u, North Malaita with already action packed day one of competition.
The four days competition will end this weekend with huge prizes up for grab.
The program yesterday started with a team parade around the Malu'u School grounds followed by speeches from representatives of TARD, the Local organising Committee, RAMSI, Malu'u School Principal, and Community rep.
The To’abaita Authority for Research and Development’s (TARD) student volunteer group is supporting the sports event with a financial contribution of $5,000.00.
Each participating team is paying a goodwill registration fee of $10.00 to help TARD donate funds to Malu’u School.
For this year’s games, a new sports competition, the beach soccer, is being introduced along with soccer for boys, netball for girls and mix volleyball for both boys and girls.
Attractive prizes will be on offer for all the four sports which will be decided later.
One of the participating player Ellen Bana told Star Sports from Malu'u that nearly 20 teams have gathered for the event.At the close of registration yesterday morning, a total of 35 teams registered for the 7-aside Soccer; 16 teams for Netball; 13 teams for Beach Soccer; and 15 teams for Volleyball.
Most of the teams came from north sea and bush including those from Fataleka and Mbaelelea.
She said most of the teams are being accommodated at schools at Malu'u.
Competition is said to be very tough in the first day of the competition.
Even some Honiara-based players are also participating in the games.
TARD Project Coordinator Exsley Taloiburi said the student members will support the organising committee.
"This is done to encourage rural participation in TARD’s community initiatives in North Malaita," he said.
The Local Organising Committee comprises Lensley Kwaimani, Jimmy Tonowane, Eddie Omokirio, Esther Irobaea, Derrick Liosulia, Sammy Liosulia, Herman Bongi, Lawrence Areni, Mostyn, and Rickson Fulairara.
Teams between Rufoki Village in West Fataleka which is 2008 TARD champion for Netball and Volleyball and Kolofe in East Baelelea are also attending the games.
The 2008 TARD Soccer champion is Columbia Team.
The North Malaita Christmas Games is a community sports initiative by TARD since December 2006 until now.
The tournament, which was generously supported by the Australian High Commission Office in Honiara, is in its fourth consecutive year.
The 2009 and 2008 TARD Christmas Games and other sporting initiatives already implemented between late 2008 and 2009 were part of the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) support to TARD last year.
TARD is a student volunteer group established in 2005 by the North Malaita students who were studying in Fiji, and has so far coordinated a wide range of community development projects in the areas of sports, sanitation, medical supplies for rural clinics, school fee assistance, and research in North Malaita.Source: Solomon Star