logo
Tonga

20,000 pairs of shoes for Tongan children

There are 20,000 reasons for Tongan high school students to smile after the Auckland Blues rugby team gave 20,000 pairs of sports shoes to 30 high schools.

This was part of the Super Rugby club’s Best Foot Forward for Tonga initiative, along with sports equipment donated by the Auckland Blues in New Zealand, under the club’s.

Blues representatives, Sarah D’audney and Sam Pierce joined Hale T-Pole, a former New Zealand and Tongan professional rugby player in Nuku’alofa, handing over boxes of boots, shoes and sports equipment to student representatives from schools, including Tonga College, Mo’unga’olive High School, Queen Salote College, Tupou College, Takuilau College and Tailulu College, at Teufaiva Stadium.

Since the ‘Best Foot Forward’ programme started in 2017, the Blues have donated thousands of boots to local communities to help overcome one of the barriers to playing sport.

Tongan children received 20,000 pairs of shoes. Picture Blues Rugby
There are 20,000 reasons for Tongan high school students to smile after the Auckland Blues rugby team gave 20,000 pairs of sports shoes to 30 high schools. Picture: Blues Rugby

After Tonga’s devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami in January, the club shifted the focus of this year’s ‘Best Foot Forward’ campaign to directly support the island nation’s recovery.

Some of the worst hit areas were also visited by the touring party with Kolovai Primary School, Kanokupolu Primary School and Kolomodua Primary School among them.

Kolomodua Primary had a pre-disaster school roll of 400 students, however this has reduced to around 100, with students still fearful of going to school so close to the water.

Blues chief executive officer Andrew Hore said it was great to be able to aid in Tonga’s recovery after the devastating natural disasters.

“Everyone at the club was touched by the images of the tsunami,” said Mr Hore.

“We view Tonga as part of our Blues community, so to be able to make this small gesture to the people there is really important to us. To see pictures of kids receiving the shoes and equipment makes it all worth it and I want to congratulate everyone from around the region for putting their Best Foot Forward for Tonga.”

Tongan students are looking forward to this year's schools rugby. Picture Blues Rugby
There are 20,000 reasons for Tongan high school students to smile after the Auckland Blues rugby team gave 20,000 pairs of sports shoes to 30 high schools. Picture: Blues Rugby

The Best Foot Forward for Tonga initiative aims to help make a difference to the youth in Tonga, impacted by the natural disasters in January.

Tonga’s Ministry of Internal Affairs chief executive officer Dr Fotu Fisi’iahi said Tongan children were afraid to go outdoors after following the volcanic eruption and tsunami disasters. He said the initiative would provide encouragement to the children.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Send this to a friend