Fifty-six junior players from the Puaikura Football Club departed Rarotonga yesterday morning en route to Aitutaki where they will spend a week on a development purpose tour.
The large contingent travelled to the outer island in three groups consisting of the club’s under 8 and 11 mixed divisions and the under 14 girls’ and boys’ teams, along with their coaches, members of the committee as well as parents.
The PFC president Junior Areai said the tour has been long coming with his hard-working committee putting in the yards to find sponsors and fundraise over the year.
“It would have been impossible to take this group over without the large support we’ve received and I’d like to thank my team of coaches, managers and parents for their efforts in making this trip happen for our children,” he said.
“We’ve planned to take our juniors at the start of the football season last year and I’m overjoyed that we’re doing it now.”
“I’d like to thank Air Raro for their tremendous sponsorship in helping with our airfares to and from Aitutaki, as well as our other sponsors Edgewater, DJ Gas and Snowbird Laundry who’ve contributed to this tour.”
Areai is adamant the trip will be a rewarding one for both his side and that of Aitutaki, noting that they will play a number of football matches against each other throughout the week.
“I believe that we can mutually benefit from the tour by exchanging friendships and giving a different level of competition for both our young players.”
On arrival the groups will be welcomed onto the island by the Aitutaki community with a ceremony at the Ureia Hall where the team will also be residing during the course of their trip.
Matches will kick off starting today and again on Monday and Wednesday next week.
“The children are excited for this trip as we all are and I believe it will be a great experience for their development in the game of football, and I am certain they will enjoy their time on Aitutaki,” Areai said.