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Hockey U18 teams fundraise

Arin Kumar
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

THE national under-18 hockey side needs almost $80,000 for their trip to the Youth Olympic Oceania Qualifiers to be held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in March.

Team coaches Tai Smith and Anthony Newton named their 15-member squads on Saturday and also revealed the side was in dire need of funds for the trip.

Smith said the Fiji National Sports Commission had given them a grant but it's the player levy contribution that was pending.

She said the side had been fundraising for the trip and trying to collect spending money.

"One thing we have been doing is donating some old things we have and selling them," Smith said.

"And I had my late mother's wheelchair which we were planning to sell but just last week, (Wednesday), I took one of the players to the Raiwaqa Health Centre and went to find a wheelchair for her but there was none.

"So we donated my mother's chair to the Health Centre and they were very thankful to us for the gesture. And even though we didn't earn any money from it, it was a good bonding session for the players and the praise they received will be good motivation for them."

She said they only had five weeks to come up with the funds.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed that some potential sponsors answer our plea."

Meanwhile, the side returned to their usual training venue at the National Hockey Centre after training on the beach at the Nasese Foreshore for two weeks since the beginning of the year.

Smith said the centre were now under the ownership of the Fiji Sports Council.

"They have given us a very economical rate to use the facilities and the turf."

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