Students benefit from New Zealand based company. Photo: SUPPLIED.
By LUKE NACEI
Packaworld International, a New Zealand based company, has assisted Fulton Primary School with portable football goals to help bring the joy of sport to children at a school being rebuilt after Cyclone Winston.
Fulton Primary School has more than 100 students, and is located two hours’ drive from the town of Rakiraki in Fiji’s Ra province.
Following the destruction of the school’s classrooms by the powerful February 2016 cyclone, tents were deployed as temporary classrooms, and the school sports field was affected by the need to store materials for construction.
The Football Packagoals were transported to the school recently by the Gracegate Centre’s ‘Move to Fiji’ school rebuild initiative.
The initiative involved a 14-day visit to the school from 12 New Zealand volunteers to support reconstruction, teaching and other school activities.
Gracegate Centre Directions coach Urzalia Rea said the contribution of the goals by New Zealand sports equipment provider Packaworld had been received with great enthusiasm by teachers and students alike.
“They love the goals. It was great to see how the kids reacted. Usually they just put their shoes down to make goals, so they were really excited. When we inflated the goals, all the kids ran down and took turns carrying them. It was really cute,” he said.
The school also has a crèche for children under five. The crèche is housed in a large tent while the school is being rebuilt, and this was temporarily turned into an impromptu football pitch using the goals during the visit, much to the delight of the children.
Ms Rea said sport is really important to the children of the region, many of whom live off the central power grid and do not have access to electronic entertainment such as television and gaming systems.
“There’s no power at the village, although there is a generator that’s used for power tools. So these kids don’t have power to play Xbox or anything, they just stay out and play sport until it gets dark.”
She said the children had loved the football coaching sessions during her visit, and the teachers had loved the fact the goals could be easily deflated and packed away.
“Being able to pack them away and keep them in a corner of a classroom tent was perfect. The teachers thought we had just brought the goals along to run some activities, so when we said the goals were sent over by Packaworld for them to keep they got quite emotional.”
This was Gracegate’s second visit to Fulton Primary School as part of the rebuild initiative. This visit resulted in the completion of three constructed classrooms that the team started last year.