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A schoolboy-inspired donation of Kiwi sports equipment to the remote Koroinasau District School near Sigatoka in Fiji will open up a world of sporting opportunities for local children.
The gift included balls for various sports, in addition to inflatable football goals and rugby posts from innovative Wellington-based sporting goods supplier Packaworld International.
Koroinasau District School Head Teacher Loata Finau said the equipment was received with festivity and song by the children and teachers of the school.
The idea to supply sports equipment to the school came from Riley Witts, a primary school student at St Theresa’s school in Karori, Wellington. After collecting $82 from the sale of cheese rolls in a ‘homework challenge’, he chose to donate the money to children in need.
Following Cyclone Winston, he decided to raise money for children in Fiji as he had “seen news of the cyclone on TV and wanted to help them", and thought having sports equipment could be one way for them to take their mind off things.
Packaworld CEO Peter Roberts said Packaworld was proud to support Riley’s gift, and had great respect for initiatives that provided young people with the opportunities to play sport.
“It’s really important that people, especially the young ones, have the opportunity to play. Ensuring people around the world can play sports like football is a big part of what Packaworld stands for, and I’m proud to help these young people”.
Mr Roberts said Packaworld believed in sharing the New Zealand sporting lifestyle in locations around the world where sports would not otherwise be possible.
The reason Packaworld had been able to help on short notice was due to the fact inflatable football ‘Packagoals’ and rugby ‘Packaposts’ could be easily transported in the boot of a car or by air, so were ideal for extending the reach of sports to remote communities, he said.
The equipment was presented to the primary school on Monday by volunteer teacher Dalen Pilitati and her mother Newlands College Bursar Rikki Pilitati, who had transported the goals to Fiji on a visit to her daughter. Air New Zealand also assisted by waiving extra baggage charges for transport of the equipment.