THE Legislative Assembly has approved to provide financial support towards the Australia Football League (AFL) Tonga team.
Yesterday Parliament voted in favour to contribute TOP$10,000.00 from its vote towards the AFL Tonga team while members of the nobility pledged their support of another TOP$10,000.00.
On behalf of the Noble Representatives, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Lord Tu’iha’ateiho yesterday presented a cheque worth TOP$10,000.00 to the President of Tonga AFL, Michael O’Shannassy.
This is to support Tonga’s national teams’ airfare tickets to the AFL International Cup 2014 in Melbourne from August 9-23 2014.
The contribution from the Noble Representatives is aimed to boost the talents of young people in the Australian Football League (AFL) sports.
It was prompted after a letter from AFL Tonga was tabled in the House on Monday, seeking some financial assistance from Government.
In receiving the cheque, President of AFL Tonga Mr. O’Shannassy shared his gratefulness for the big donation.
Meanwhile the Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Samiu Vaipulu also announced another TOP$10,000.00 support from Government's Ministry of Internal Affairs for the AFL Tonga team.
According to the AFL Tonga letter that was read in Parliament, they were seeking up to over TOP$32,000.00 for the players’ air fare tickets.
The House was also told a total of TOP$90,000 was needed for the airfare expenses and players had managed to collect more than TOP$64,000.00 during two radiophone programs.
The President of AFL Tonga did also mention in the letter that Tonga team is among the best in the Pacific and Oceania region.
In 2009 Tonga’s AFL team won the first AFL Oceania tournament in Fiji and came second in the 2010 AFL tournament in which Papua New Guinea was the champion.
The letter also mentioned that its debut appearance at the 2011 AFL International Cup Tonga finished a highly creditable eighth position out of 18 competing countries.
Tonga for the first time is sending a women’s team to the AFL 2014 International Cup in Melbourne.