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Danish man crowdfunds to attend Pacific Games

A Danish amateur sports reporter has begun fundraising to pay for his airfares to travel to Samoa to cover the 2019 Pacific Games.

Twenty-two-year-old Axel Ljungqist – who has a passion for football and describes himself as a “fan of minnow teams” – has set up an account on the popular crowdfunding page GoFundMe to raise approximately US$3000 to cover his travel and accommodation during the July 7-20 regional sporting event in Samoa.

His crowdfunding page is titled, “Help me cover the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa”.

Responding to questions from the Samoa Observer, Mr Ljungqist said his interest in Oceania football began in 2010, as he was amazed at how Pacific Islanders committed themselves as players at the amateur level while working fulltime jobs.

“I find Oceania to be very unique. In Europe, the motivation for the most part is the money, but it's the complete opposite in Oceania. People coming to practice after a full-time job and finding the joy and motivation as complete amateurs,” he said.

One Pacific Island nation’s prowess on the football pitch, Solomon Islands, particularly caught his eye.

“I also see a lot of technical potential. Solomon Islands has been impressively improved the last couple of years rivaling New Zealand.”

When asked how his fundraising is going, he said people are sharing the story of his dream to cover the Games and he hopes to get his father and big brother’s financial support. 

“I haven't been able to raise a lot of money yet, but several people through my network of Oceanian football, has been sharing my fundraiser. I am hoping to get some economic support from my father and big brother too.”

Mr Ljungqist said he has been a fan of Oceania’s minnow teams for many years and wants to see them prosper in their respective national competitions.  

“I see the love and passion for football in Oceania and I want the teams to be able to compete. I want the talents to get recognised and I want the bigger teams to build bridges and a network with the Pacific teams,” he added. 

While travelling to Polynesia and being able to watch the 2019 Pacific Games will be a dream come true for the Dane, he acknowledges that the fundraising challenge would seem insurmountable due to his bipolar condition. But he is not throwing in the towel, and is determined to raise the desired amount within the next three months. 

Writing on his GoFundMe page, Mr Ljungqist said his plan for the Pacific Games is to interview different athletes and coaches from different Pacific Island nations and also commentate on the football games.

“The money (that is raised) will go exclusively to flight tickets and room rental for a period of about 14 days.

“It would mean the world to me to be able to share my passion for the game with like-minded individuals and finally go on vacation again.

“If I don't raise all the money needed I will let you know and put them aside for next year when the OFC Nations Cup comes around,” he wrote on his page.

Mr Ljungqist is the editor and administrator of two Facebook pages that focus on football, one of them specifically on the game being played in Oceania which has over 3000 followers.

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