New Zealand Van Lines is privileged to assist in the relocation of football gear to the Solomon Islands for the New Zealand Police Solomon Island Football Drive.
Football is the most popular sport in the Solomon Islands; however, many communities do not have access to basic equipment including footballs. The NZ Police Solomon Island Football drive aims to provide gear and equipment to the most remote communities in the Islands.
Eddie Omokirio the Chairman of Football Malaita is running the lumi Play Grassroots programme, which aims to create a level playing field for children aged 6 to 12 who want to play football. Eddie has been running this programme with no funding from the government, using what resources he has.
Currently, only 40 children have access to the programme. It is Eddie’s goal to have over 1,000 children from the rural Malaita region be involved in the sport.
NZ Police Sergeant Karen Le Sueur who is currently deployed in the Solomon Islands met Eddie and said his desire for developing grassroots football in underdeveloped areas is an obvious passion.
“The programme brings communities together; it gives people something to engage with and aim towards. Not only does it connect remote communities, but it also helps reduce alcoholism and domestic violence. Everyone is part of this competition whether they are playing, referring, coaching, or supporting,” says Karen.
Karen reached out to Wellington-based football companies, Capital Football and Football Central who have donated over three pallets of football equipment and clothing that will go to the most remote areas of Malaita.
“It feels amazing that we have been able to donate three pallets of gear to these communities. I think the most amazing thing was the response was from New Zealand. We didn’t expect it to be that big.” Says Karen.
The football gear has been transported from Wellington to Whenuapai, where it will be freighted to the islands.
New Zealand Van Lines Wellington Branch Manager Charles Bennett says, “It’s a privilege to be able to assist in the relocation of this gear and to know that it will make a difference to the lives of the people in these remote communities.”
Learn more about NZ Van Lines.