Lord Vaea Hopes Royal Petition Will Convince The Government To Change Its Mind On Pacific Games

Vaea: loss of the 2019 Pacific Games will set back development of sport and increase the gap between it and neigboring countries

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 10, 2017) – The head of Tonga's amateur sports and Olympic committee says the loss of the 2019 Pacific Games will set back development of sport and increase the gap between it and neigbouring countries.

Lord Vaea hopes a royal petition will convince the government to change its mind despite its declaration this week that its decision to withdraw from hosting the games was final.

Lord Vaea said the ability of countries like Fiji and Samoa to host top sporting events was more advanced than Tonga's and the recent Super Rugby fixtures provided evidence of that.

"Samoa hosting the Reds and the Blues and Fiji hosting the Chiefs and the Crusaders and here is Tonga going further and further back. If we want to join into this sort of thing we need our infrastructure through sport and that's what the games will bring," he said.

"And it will bring a different standard of facilities and activities and professionalism to our overall sport."

Radio New Zealand International
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Comments

Congratulations Tonga! Finally a pacific nation has grown up to realise and understand that you don't have to spend millions of dollars you don't have just to look as though you can afford it, when simply you can't. I applaud the government in this tough but necessary decision. To look after the welfare and health of your people before spending money you don't have or would have to borrow shows true leadership. Yes there will be disappointment but many Tongans will still go on to master their skills and take their place in international sport. To be plunged further in debt or worse by borrowing foreign money (which always comes with an added cost) is not the way forward to much needed financial balance. Take your ball and play in someone else's park Tonga, this you probably can afford.

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