The boys were welcomed on arrival by family members and supporters and were treated to a table of refreshment prepared by parents.
“The welcome, love and support, was touching,” mentor and head of the team Pr Nacanieli Seru said.
“Although we were unfortunate not to bring the trophy home, we were treated like champions on arrival,” he added.
Seru, who is also president of the Solomon Islands Sports Coalition (SISC), thanked stakeholders and individuals who contributed towards the trip.
“First of all, I give glory and honour to the Almighty God for His goodness, love and provision.
“A big thank you to the Bulk Shop family for providing the support towards our annual school league where we were able to select our Junior Kurukuru each year.
“A big thank you to the PMO office for stepping in to pay for our accommodation at the Capital Park lodge in Canberra.
“We were about to go out our way as usual to raise funds for our food and accommodation but you lower our load as you intervene.
“A big thank you to SIFF president Willie Lai for believing in the work of the church to use futsal as a way of interacting with youth and children and to complement the federation’s work to develop football in the country.”
The futsal mentor said without SIFF’s support, they wouldn’t be able to attend the annual championships in Australia.
“I’m looking forward to more support for this year and in the coming years.
“A big thank you to Lion Heart for the traveling shoes and uniforms.
“To my Solomon Christian brother from Fiji thank you for purchasing the shoes that really helped the boys in their training and in the competition.
“A big thank you to the Solomon Islands community in Australia, the money that you raise and gave two years ago, we use it to purchase sets of playing uniforms.”
Seru also thanked coach Caleb Fox and technical advisor Dickson Kadau for preparing the team for the competition.
He also acknowledged Pastor Brian Codrington and the Dural Church for their continuing spiritual and financial support to futsal development in the Solomon Islands in the past 18 years.
Star Sports understand that through the leadership of Pr Codrington and the Bible Way Centre in Honiara, futsal has achieved a lot.
Under the churches’ cordial relationship futsal becomes successful in the country and even made Solomon Islands known globally.
The much loved sport took Solomon Islands to the FIFA World Cups, Olympic Games and regional competitions in Oceania region.
Seru further highlighted that the successful journey of futsal in the past 18 years in the happy Isles has been the result of:
- Including God in the sport and acknowledging the fact that man is a spirit being that lives in the body so we also have to deal with players spiritual life and not only the physical.
- Cooperative effort and support from the church in the Solomons, Dural Baptist Church in Sydney, football federation, business houses, media, individuals, players and their families and the crazy fans.
- A good attitude towards not having what we don't have - International full size court.
- In the past 18 years of being in this sport I've seen children been selected into junior Kurukuru under 12, 14 ,16 even our Senior Kurukuru team trained with all their might and strength, with sacrifice, passion, commitment and pride of being a national flag bearer of their Nation Solomon Islands forgetting about having no court and play their heart for their country.
“These sons are able to overcome all odds and challenges to bring happiness through futsal in the happy isles in many different occasions such as Australian Nationals, OFC qualifies for both senior and under 17, World Cup and Youth Olympics.”
By CROFTON UTUKANA