Savai'i students brave sea sickness for Games moment

Fifty students from Samata-i-uta Primary School in Savai'i proudly took part in the flag raising ceremony representing their adopted country, Norfolk Islands.

Held at the Malae a Tiafau Mulinu'u, eight flags, each representing a country participating in the Pacific Games, were raised by students from eight schools. 

The countries were Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Guam, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island and Niue.

Samata i Uta Primary School Principal, Oilini Pine, said seeing the joy on the faces of the Norfolk Island athletes was worth experiencing seasickness for when the sailed to Upolu.

"We're very proud and blessed to be given this great opportunity although it was very challenging for the students and even ourselves but at the end of the day, we greatly benefit from it," he said.

During school breaks, Mrs. Pine said, students would sacrifice their time to learn about a different culture and language.

Norfolk Island athlete, Gary Bigg, was in tears seeing the effort that had gone into the welcome.

"We felt like we were at home with the students' performance," he said.

"We're already feeling like we're playing at home with the very warm welcome we've experienced so far."

The athletes were up on their feet and stepped forward when the students sang their country's national anthem.

"We find this beautiful country of Samoa very friendly and very welcoming. So thank you Samoa for that, bringing in all different nations into a country is very beautiful. Congratulations Samoa."

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