Greetings your Eminence and fellow AFC Family!
Yesterday the 95th Inter Collegiate Athletics for Tonga Secondary Schools came to a close. That was after four days of highly competitive events.
Team AFC is among the Top 3 according to unconfirmed results. Team AFC was leading from Day 1 and 2.
Photos 015 & 031 showed the trio that dominated the middle & long distance events in the Senior and Open Grades: Ana Lauteau, Lina Bourke & Yantama Atoa.
You can see from Photo 038 the proud looks on the AFC Team as they paraded in the final march led by Ana, Sebastian, and Sione Veamatahau who won the Best Male athlete in the senior grade.
Photo 033 captured the Sports Master, Taholo Anitoni, and athletes after the Medals ceremony. The athletes are repeatedly reminded of the Marist Motto is sports: Be gracious in defeat and modest in victory!
Photo 030 was taken just after the athletes honored the Principal with their medals. It was quite moving for me as the athletes came up the stairs while the Chief Guest Hon. Lupepau'u watched on!
Many have remarked that this year's efforts by Team Apifo'ou are uniquely fantastic! However, we've identified the areas that we need to improve on. We may have done well in the track events but did relatively poor in the field events. That's something to work on in the years to come.
After the closing ceremony I managed to catch the Takuilau Team and congratulated them for their wonderful performance this year. It's certainly remarkable to see both Catholic schools doing exceptionally well.
After dinner last night at the college the athletes were released to go home with their parents. They have spent five weeks at camp so they were looking excited to go home. However, they'll return on Sunday for our Thanksgiving Mass and Meal. The whole school plus the ex-students will celebrate together this success on the 1st May when we mark our Feast Day.
May I take this opportunity to acknowledge all the prayers and tremendous support from the Apifo'ou Family at home and abroad. To our ex-students' from overseas I thank you most sincerely. I certainly believe that the new sports' uniforms and track shoes made a big impact on the performance of the athletes.
When we return next week we'll conduct at our normal assembly our own Medals Presentation ceremony. We usually donate cash prizes to medal winners: $50 for Gold, $30 Silver, and $20 for Bronze. Depending on funds available, we'll raise the award to $100 for Gold, $70 Silver, and $50 for Bronze.
All in all, the most fulfilling sentiment for me personally is that the outcome from the sports is part and parcel of Our Dream for a New Apifo'ou!