The Tonga National 5 A-Side football team returned home after participating in a National 5 A-Side Unified Football tournament hosted by Special Olympics Fiji at the Fiji Football Academy in Suva Fiji.
This tournament organized by Special Olympics Fiji for disability communities and invited Tonga to join through the Just Play team.
Tonga Football approved and the Just Play team started to do the preparation including selection of players and training program.
The Just Play Project Manager, Palu ‘Uhatahi appointed Lui Muavesi to manage the team and Lafaele Moala to be the coach. Muavesi and Moala are both working in the Just Play department.
‘’I am so grateful to Tonga Football for approving us to travel to Fiji to participate in this tournament and this is the first time for a team from outside Fiji to participate,’’Muavesi says.
‘’ Our Tonga team was selected from the Ofa Tui ‘Amanaki Center and our sessions twice a week were very helpful because we have more time with the five boys that selected,’’ he added.
‘’While in Fiji we were well looked after by the Special Olympic Fiji and this tournament kicked off on Saturyday 25 of Novemeber.’’Muavesi said.
There were 8 teams participated and they divided into 2 pools that consist of 4 teams. Tonga’s pool consists of Suva, Levuka, Nabua and Labasa.
The team Tonga ended their campaigned to the final when they played the first semi final against Labasa, as Labasa won 1 – 0.
Upon the conclusion of this tournament, all teams were receiving trophy donated by the Fiji Special Olympic committee.
‘’I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to Mr. Robin Dayal the Sports Director of Special Olympic Fiji for the invitation and being a great host and I could say, this short tournament was well organized. Well done Fiji team, Vinaka vaka levu,’’ Muavesi added.
The Tonga team are as followed, Alone Fakavai (Team Captain) Semisi Tulikihakau, Paula Tupou Pauli Ma’afu and ‘Ifotu Tu’alau.
They all returned home safely and excitedly yesterday.