May update by Job Vulita and Rowan Fajerman
April has proved to be a challenging month for everyone living in the Solomon Islands. Prior to the floods, AFL was gaining excellent momentum with strong participation amongst seniors and juniors. Efforts were now directed to more pressing matters as AFL took a back seat. However, in the wake of the disaster, it was positive to see all the regular junior and senior participants were eager to get on with playing footy! A testament to the resilience of Solomon Islanders and expatriates alike. Although April begun tragically, there have been plenty of positives to come out of SIAFLF and we are eager to continue working within the community to promote healthy and active lifestyles.
Latest News – SAM BUA of to New Zealand
On Tuesday 22nd April, local AFL player Sam Bua boarded a flight bound for Wellington, New Zealand. Sam is a strong bodied winger for the Central Coast Eagles in Honiara. He is capable on both sides of his body but is best known for his penetrating left foot kick.
He spent one week in New Zealand playing AFL in a two match series between the South Pacific Nations and New Zealand Hawks. Last year, the Hawks dominated series winning both matches.
This year, the first match of the series was the curtain raiser preceding the ANZAC Day game; St Kilda vs Brisbane Lions. The South Pacific Nations were able to snatch an upset victory from the Hawks in the first match. Sam was a solid contributor in the midfield and also kicked a goal in the low scoring game. As expected, the Hawks came out firing in game 2, not willing to be bullied by the younger Pacific side. In the end the Hawks were too strong and were able to get the win. The series ended in a draw. The Pacific Nations will be looking to go one step further next year and overcome the mighty Hawks in 2015.
SIAFL TRIVIA SUCCESS
The annual SIAFLF Trivia fundraiser was held on Wednesday 16th April at King Solomon’s Hotel. An enormous turnout and very generous participants helped SIAFLF to raise a whopping $26,000SBD. Several events throughout the night provided many opportunities to win prizes including the overall winner of seven rounds of trivia.
A raffle, Scott McNamara vs Everyone, a signed West Coast Jersey auction and a golf putting competition proved very entertaining for the crowd and ensured there was lots of participation throughout the night.
Due to the devastating floods, SIAFLF has decided to use the funds to help with disaster relief in the community. The money raised on the night will contribute to youth activities in flood affected communities, not necessarily AFL related. A huge thankyou to our sponsors, the generous donations of the trivia teams and everyone who helped make the night happen.
Demons lend a helping hand
Two weeks after the devastating floods struck Solomon Islands, the White River Health Clinic was still layered in mud and inoperable. As the only clinic in that community, it was essential that the clinic get up and running once again to be able to provide medical services to those in need, particularly, those living in evacuation centres.
On the 16th of April, the White River Demons (local AFL team) came together to clean up the Health Clinic. Organised and facilitated by the Demons coach, Michael Nunan, the Demons players turned up at 6:00am sharp, ready and eager to assist in cleaning the clinic. Armed only with shovels, mops, buckets, rags, rice sacks and high spirits, the mammoth task got underway. Working in teams, mud was shovelled into bags and piled outside. While some shovelled, others removed all the furniture and equipment from the clinic so floors, walls and cupboards could be washed. Taking short breaks in-between tasks to enjoy some barbequed eggs, slowly but surely, the swamp like facility was again beginning to resemble a health clinic.
As the day went on, more and more people stopped to witness these young men (most of which are under 19) work in the hot and dirty conditions to restore the clinic. Perhaps inspired or motivated by the efforts of the young men and expatriates, community members joined in to help clean the muddied furniture and dispose of all the rubbish. By 11:00am, the Demon’s had done an excellent job, enabling nurses and clinic staff to begin salvaging goods and reorganising the clinic. Thanks to the efforts of the Demons and other volunteers, the clinic will soon be operational and able to provide services to members of the community.
Solkick & Junior Development
The Kukum SDA vs St Nicholas competition has been cancelled for the second time due to poor weather. SIAFLF staff are hopeful that the competition can take place early next week as students are eager to test out their skills. The Open Solkick clinic at Woodford Oval is still running and available for primary aged students. Sessions commence at 8:30am.
SIAFLF will be working with a number of eastern based schools during term 2. They will be targeting boys and girls from form 1 to form 4 and will host a competition at the end of the term. Schools include: St Josephs, Perch School, King George VI School, Lunga School, Woodford and Burns Creek School. SIAFLF staff will also be collaborating with Ministry of Health staff in providing sporting activities and health education sessions to children and adolescents living in evacuation centres.
Senior Football experienced some unexpected postponements but the league was back in full motion by the end of the month. After 3 rounds, White River Demons are in top form, having won 3 straight games. Since last year, the young Demons have grown, both physically and mentally and are tracking well for a finals birth. Eagles are sitting comfortably in second, only dropping one match to the Demons. The highly skilful Eagles will be looking to even things up against the Demons during their next encounter. Surprise packet Real Lions are in 3rd place, having two wins and two losses to their name. Continually improving, don’t be surprised if the Lions take down a top side in the coming weeks. KG Sharks numbers have been fluctuating this season. Their only win came as a default victory when the Magpies forfeited in Round 1. With a full squad on the paddock, the Sharks can do some damage. China Town Magpies are currently last on the ladder and yet to register a win but they are not to be taken lightly. They demonstrated that they can compete with the best when they nearly snatched a win from the Eagles. Expect to see their win tally go up as they gain more consistency in their play.
Francis Ramo and Peter Nuku are settling in well to their new home in Toowoomba, QLD. They have been competing in the Men’s Division 1 side and holding their spot. They are adjusting to the many changes that come with living and playing football in Australia but are enjoying the challenges.
During Round 4, the Division 1 side had a bye and Peter and Francis dropped into the Division 2 side for a run. The boys flourished in the close match and were both named in the Best Players, as well as Peter slotting a goal. We wish the boys all the best and will continue to follow their journey.
That’s all from SIAFLF, We’ll see you…… Around the Boundary!
Rowan Fajerman AFL Development Officer , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph. +677 7788455
Job Vulita AFL Development Officer, Email: email@example.com Ph. +677 7444878