Polynesia Airlines and TAFA have today announced that young Tongan Semisi Takelo is the first recipient of a scholarship to study and play Australian Football in Australia.
The announcement was made today (January 25) at the Polynesian Airlines office with the Tongan Australian Football Association (TAFA) president Mr Malakai Vakasiuola present. Takelo’s mother, Ms Lesieli Takelo of Fotua Ha'apai was also in attendance for the announcement.
One of the success stories of Australian Football has been Papua New Guinea. The game has had a solid base in Australia's northern neighbour for several decades, but it has recently been boosted with the AFL assisting in junior development. World Footy News has had several stories on the sport there, and some of the talented juniors coming from the country, but the following is from the AFL PNG itself, a body responsible for growing the game at junior level.
Dominant Auckland AFL side the University Blues have again won the premiership in New Zealand's biggest city and biggest league. This is believed to be their 12th senior premiership since formation in 1981, and their third in a row. In what has been described as the best Grand Final in many years, the Blues won by 18 points over Mt Roskill. After a great effort to make both the League and Reserves grand finals, it was a bad day for Mt Roskill, as they also went down in the early game to North Shore. The following is a report from the NZAFL website.
The Tongan schoolboys tour of Samoa was a great success. Although the boys lost their first international match, the scoreline indicates a very competitive game, which is a great effort for the young men from the Kingdom, given 2004 has been the first real season of footy there. It's also great to see the game developing in Samoan schools. Samoa 7.8 (50) defeated Tonga 4.5 (29). SARFA development officer Kable Kelleway said "It's good to let the youth know that they have another option when they're thinking about future opportunities to represent Samoa". Read on for the tour report from the Tongan Australian Football Assocation.
It's exciting to report the first true international tour by a Tongan representative side. After their successful first season of schoolboys footy in the Kingdom, their best side has been selected and will travel to nearby Samoa, to take on their arch rivals.
Youth participation in Australian football is growing worldwide as clubs realise its potential for attracting future players and families to the sport. In this article, NZAFL's Steve Froggatt talks about his country's recent Auskick restructure, the program currently provided and the recent growth of football in New Zealand
The Canterbury Australian Football Leagues (CAFL) is based around Christchurch, on New Zealand's South Island. The league features four men's clubs, with hopes to expand to six. Anecdotal evidence suggests that footy is quite popular with girls in New Zealand schools. Recently the CAFL held its first women's game.