Last Saturday 29th November, Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) Tetere Community successfully staged a rugby festival for students and children in that community and students from Ngalimbiu Community High School, Marara Community High School and Selwyn College from the far north west of Guadalcanal.
The tournament was part of the Pacific in Union rugby for schools and communities program and marks the end of program in the GPPOL 2 Tetere community and the three schools where the program had been running on Guadalcanal during this last quarter of the year.
More than 240 students, about 5 teachers from the three schools and GPPOL 2, PiU/SIRUF officials, a good number of staff of GPPOL, youths and parents from the community gathered at the GPPOL 2 play ground to participate and witness the tournament last Saturday.
The event commenced with a short opening ceremony around 10:30am in which the president of the Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF), Mr. Frank Wickham, and the General Manager of the GPPOL and Vice President of SIRUF, Mr. Andrew Kerr, who was the guest of honour during the ceremony, gave their speeches, thanking and applauding PiU staff and officers, school teachers and administrations in the three participating schools and community representatives at GPPOL for successfully running the PiU program which culminated in the festival that everyone had gathered to participate in and witnessed.
The games kicked off straight after the opening ceremony and went for the whole day with a combined lunch around 2:00pm that day. The tournament was played in three divisions, lower secondary boys’ rugby sevens, upper primary boys and girls tag rugby, and lower primary boys and girls touch rugby.
A total of 14 teams participated in the tournament, which saw: 2 teams competing in the lower primary boys touch rugby, one team from GPPOL 2 and one team from Ngalimbiu; 2 teams competing in the lower primary girls touch rugby, one from GPPOL 2 and one from Ngalimbiu; 3 teams competing in the upper primary boys tag rugby, which include one team from Selwyn, one from Ngalimbiu and one from GPPOL 2; 4 teams competing in the upper primary girls tag rugby competition which included one team from GPPOL 2, one team from Ngalimbiu and two teams from Marara Community High School. In the lower secondary boys rugby category we had one team from Marara Community High School and two teams from Selwyn College.
Fourteen matches were played that day and the games wrapped up around 5:40pm with a great match in the lower secondary boys rugby sevens competition between Selwyn College 3 and Marara which the former won to claim the winner’s trophy over the later and Selwyn College 2. In other results, in the lower primary boys touch rugby, Ngalimbiu defeated GPPOL 2 to claim the winner’s trophy.
In the lower primary girls touch rugby competition GPPOL 2 girls beat Ngalimbiu to snatch the winner’s trophy. In the upper primary boys tag competition Selwyn College 1 defeated Ngalimbiu and GPPOL 2 to take home the winner’s trophy. While in the upper primary girls tag rugby, Marara 1 won three of their matches to claim the winner’s trophy.
The following individuals were also awarded the PiU spirit of rugby medals for their individual excellent performances during the tournament: John Walenesia of GPPOL 2 lower primary touch team; Sarah of Ngalimbiu and Margaret of GPPOL 2 lower primary girls touch teams; Paul of Selwyn College tag rugby team, Dorothy Sam of GPPOL upper level girls tag team and Kingsley of Marara rugby sevens team. The presentation of trophies and medals was done around 5:40pm officiated by the General Manager of the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited, Mr. Andrew Kerr.