U.S.P. Alafua soccer team give to needy

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 17 December 2020, 2:00PM

Prizes that the University of South Pacific (U.S.P.) Alafua Campus soccer team won in the 2020 local competition will be donated to needy Samoan families.

The USP Alafua Campus soccer team – whose members comprise some 50 students from Vanuatu, Tonga, Tuvalu, Micronesia and the Solomon Islands – finished second in Samoa’s First Division Men’s Upolu Senior League Competition.

Their players also picked up two special awards: Most Valuable Player (MVP) which went to Damtri Limae; and the Golden Boot which was awarded to Fredly Niko who scored 47 goals in the 2020 season.

The soccer competition’s prize-giving ceremony was held on 5 December.

As part of the team’s performance, they were given food vouchers which they in turn donated to the USP Campus residential students, who won’t be able to travel home this Christmas due to the COVID-19 border closures.

U.S.P. Campus Director Dr. Joeli Veitayaki, Dr. Siaka Diarra and Sia Matalavea received the donation on behalf of the students, who then decided to present the items to non-profit group Brown Girl Woke (BGW) on 14 December. 

USP student Kellon Moses, 21, of Vanuatu is among the U.S.P. undergraduate and postgraduate students who are “stuck in Samoa.

“We may be stuck here but that doesn’t mean we are not happy. As students stuck here it feels good to give back to the Samoan community in one way or another, because everyone deserves to smile during Christmas,” she told the Samoa Observer.

Majoring in agriculture and applied science at the U.S.P. Alafua Campus, Ms Moses praised the team’s management for the kind gesture. 

“It’s a great cause having the soccer management do such a kind gesture especially considering what B.G.W. stands for,” Ms Moses, who is the current U.S.P. Student Association President, told the Samoa Observer.

Several U.S.P students volunteer at the B.G.W. which provides assistance to needy families in Samoa.

AnnJulie Johnson, 26, a Vanuatu student, said their donation was passed from the student association to the B.G.W. Office.

“The boys from the soccer team have the heart to share their donations in the first place to the school administrators through our U.S.P Student Association President Kellon Moses which was then passed on to the B.G.W. through the Student Welfare Officer (S.W.O.) Ronna Lee and our residential advisors. The donation toward B.G.W. made the soccer boys smile yesterday (Monday),” added Ms Johnson.

Tusiata Lemuelu, 23, of Vailoa, Palauli, Savai’i and Aleisa said the football team donated the gifts because they wanted to help the students.

“Christmas is around the corner and the Christmas spirit is usually a spirit of sharing gifts among friends and families…when the U.S.P. Alafua received the donation from the U.S.P. Football club because they understand that there are many regional students stuck here in Samoa because of Covid-19,” said Lemuelu, a final year agriculture student.

“They probably needed this donation but U.S.P. Alafua moved this donation forward to those who need this the most. B.G.W. is close by to Alafua campus and it is a well-known non-profit that can pass this donation to the families in Samoa that are in need.”

B.G.W. Founder and Director Maluseu Doris Tulifau expressed her gratitude for the donation of cereal, tinned mackerel, weetbix, saimin, cereal, milo, napkins and toilet paper.

“We are so grateful for the soccer team who are stuck here because of COVID-19 and can’t get back home,” Maluseu said.

“For them to donate their winnings from their games to vulnerable families means a lot. Especially being students from Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomons just shows how much our Pacific takes care of each other.”

“That’s the spirit the boys want to experience this festive season which is to give to someone who needed the donation more than them. 

“It doesn’t stop here. We are planning to donate to the Samoa Victims Support Group around Christmas next week and everyone’s looking forward to that.”

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 17 December 2020, 2:00PM

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