New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga

New Zealand business gives rugby kit to Tonga High Schools.

Secondary high school students receiving donated gear.

On behalf of Dunedin business Leslie Rugby, New Zealand High Commissioner, Mark Talbot, today handed hundreds of rugby balls, more than a thousand pairs of shorts, and other rugby kit to Tongatapu Secondary Schools.  Over a hundred rugby balls are also being given to school children in Ha’apai.

“New Zealanders and Tongans are fanatical about rugby.  So it is a delight to be able to do more than just share that passion; to do something that will help Tongan youth enjoy their rugby more”, said Mark Talbot.  “I am especially grateful to Leslie Rugby and Matson Shipping Line for their generosity in making this gift to Tonga.”

President of the Tongatapu Secondary Schools Association, Fr ‘Aisake Vaisima, received the rugby gear on behalf of the schools.  He was accompanied by principals and students from ‘Apifo‘ou College, Liahona High School, St Andrews High School, Tonga College ‘Atele and Tonga High School.  The International Rugby Board’s representative on the Tonga Rugby Union, Mr ‘Aminiasi Kefu, observed proceedings.

“The Tongatapu Secondary Schools are indeed very grateful for this timely assistance towards the schools’ rugby union”, said Fr ‘Aisake Vaisima.  “The rugby kit will be a great boost for the students’ enthusiasm and enjoyment of rugby and not to mention the limited budgets for sports in schools.  Thank you to Leslie Rugby in Dunedin for their generosity and to Mark Talbot, the New Zealand High Commissioner, for this opportunity given to the Secondary Schools.”

The NZ High Commission is grateful to all who made this gift possible.  Leslie Rugby donated the gear.  Matson Shipping freighted it for free.  The Government of Tonga facilitated clearance without charge, and also arranged for Tongatapu Secondary Schools to receive it.  New Zealand Trade & Enterprise helped make the arrangements possible.

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