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Tonga celebrates the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace

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09th April 2018 The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) marked the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace in a special programme last Friday at Queen Salote Memorial Hall.

Minister for MIA Hon ‘Akosita Lavulavu said the initiative is aimed at uniting the people of Tonga and in order for it to function effectively everyone including the government, sports organizations and NGOs need to be on board.

“We are marking the importance of sports and its core values as we are working towards the objective which motivates us all: putting sport at the service of a better society.”

She highlighted the role of sports and its contribution to the development of Tonga where Australia and New Zealand recruit some of its well-paid rugby players from Tonga.

“These players receive income and send it back home to families living here in Tonga, which the World Bank determined that remittances contribute to 33% of the country’s economy.”

She stated that sports also unify Tonga and that was evident in the Rugby League World Cup last year where it united Tongans here and abroad which demonstrated to the world the oneness of the people.

Hon Lavulavu encouraged primary school students who attended the program to participate in whatever sports they enjoy because that is the vehicle for making new friends, peace building and conflict prevention, health promotion and the gateway for success in the future.

The International Day of Sports for Development and Peace is commemorated globally on April 6 of every year to honour the role of sports in society and to note its positive influence on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.

The programme featured Come and Try Sessions and aerobics and was attended by the Australian Ambassador to Tonga H.E. Mr. Andrew Ford, Japanese Ambassador to Tonga H.E. Mr. Tetsuya Ishii and his spouse.

ENDS

Issued by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications

 

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