Rotarians Help Out Stranded Tongan Olympic Team
When Past President of the Cashmere Rotary Club, Gordon Hooper heard of the plight of the stranded Tongan Olympic team in Christchurch, plans were soon underway to organise a collection for them. This has been a great success, with people from many Rotary clubs throughout Christchurch donating.
While some of the team managed to clear Auckland and return to Tonga before the lockdown four of the team were unable to leave because of the lockdown. They must now wait to return home until flights resume, hopefully on the next repatriation flight on 20 October. This has left them in a very difficult situation with them totally dependent on the generosity of their friends to help provide their accommodation and living costs. The team is led by Rotarian and Chef de Mission Mr Amanaki Fakakovikaetau, Vice-President of the Tongan Sports Association and National Olympic committee.
To help relieve the financial burden on the group, the Cashmere Rotary Club has created an online collection for donations to the group using the website www.memorialgifting.com. This website is normally used for collecting online donations in memory of a loved one at funerals but has been made available free of charge by one of the members of the Club to help with the cause. Rotarians and members of the public wishing to donate can do so by visiting the website before the collection closes on Tuesday 28 September.
Despite missing home, the four of us are doing well, says Mr Fakakovikaetau.
“Although we are stranded here, in spirit we are okay.”