THE much anticipated and fierce Tu Ata Games is set to kick off this weekend.
People of Sikaiana from all works of life in Honiara and provinces will again gather at the Ever Green Red Beach sports grounds, to celebrate the day with exciting sporting activities.
Tu Ata Games is anticipated to be a tough campaign for teams that will be taking part.
Four more days and the event which is step up similarly to the previous Tu Ata Game at Red Beach will kick off.
All the competing teams for this year’s Games will be smashing each other in about a week of serious competition from the 2nd to 10th of July which will be coincided with the country’s Independence Day.
Not only are the prizes attractive with the winners to walk away with a total of $50k, but also it will be a time for people of Sikaiana to showcase some of their raw and hidden talents as well as to mingle to have fun for the whole of one week.
Tournament’s major sponsor Robert Sisilo told Star Sports, all teams vying to compete in the Games have already been finalised shortly after the close of registration.
He said 14 soccer teams (5-a-side) will contest in the premier competition and 3 (7-a-side) teams in the oldies category.
For netball, 10 teams will compete in the premier division and 3 in the oldies category. As for softball there will be 11 teams for the women’s competition and 8 in the men’s competition. And 8 individuals (2 women & 6 men) will shoot it out in the darts.
That added up to 50 teams.
He said nine teams from the Island of Sikaiana are anticipated to join the competition.
“The island of Sikaiana will send 9 teams of some 87 athletes,’’ he said.
“They are pinning their hopes on the MV Airi which is expected to pick them up early this week and in time for the weekend’s commencement of the Games,’’ he said.
Sisilo stressed in the meantime hosts of the Games, the Sikaiana Community at Red Beach, are all hands on deck preparing the grounds and accommodation for the Sikaiana contingent.
“Like last year they will all be accommodated at the Games Village.
Meanwhile the prizes for the Tu Ata Games are as follows:
Football (Premier 5 a-side) – 1st $5000, 2nd $3,000, 3rd $2,000. (Oldies 7 a-side) – 1st $2,000, 2nd $1000, Netball (Premier) – 1st $5000, 2nd $3,000, 3rd $2,000. (Oldies) – 1st $2,000, 2nd $1000, Volleyball (men) – 1st $3,000, 2nd $2,000, 3rd $1,000, and same for women volleyball, Darts – 1st $1000, 2nd $700, 3rd $500.
Prizes and tokens of recognition will also be awarded for the Golden Boot (football), Golden Hand (Netball) Golden Spike (Volleyball), oldest players, match officials, organisers, musicians etc,’’ Sisilo added.
BY CROFTON UTUKANA