Tension grows for sports on the island as the majority of sports codes “walk out” from the NISCGA general assembly

While most of the island enjoyed their public holiday and  attended their Ekalesia village church service held in the morning to commemorate Good Friday, a small portion of the population, namely sports codes, attended the general assembly meeting of the national sports governing body known as Niue Island Sports and Commonwealth Games Association (NISCGA). 

The meeting took place last Friday morning 7th of April at the Pacific Way Bar, Amanau in Alofi which saw the representatives of the sports codes, athletes and interested persons at the meeting. 

It has been widely reported since March last year, the friction and tension between NISCGA and many of the sports codes on the island. 

This tension remained and was seen clearly at the meeting on Friday. Attempts by Des Hipa, a candidate nominee for the presidency asking the Executive of NISCGA to suspend the constitution so as to hear from the non-affiliated members was declined. 

The tension continued as representatives tried to get their voices heard but were not permitted to speak as they had no speaking rights as non-affiliated members of NISCGA. 

Three hours later, after much conflict and disagreements between NISCGA executive and sports codes who were against the committee, Des Hipa informed the meeting that he wished to withdraw his name from the candidacy for president, after which the majority of those at the meeting walked out, leaving only the people who were then announced as duly elected. 

NISCGA Executive Committee for the next four years from 2023 to 2027 includes President Maru Talagi, Senior Vice President Tony Edwards, Secretary General Sidney Lui and Treasurer Shield Palahetogia. 

The three new members include Carol Edwards as the Assistant Secretary General and two new Vice Presidents Norman Mitimeti John Kaulima. 

BCN News spoke with NISCGA Senior VP Tony Edwards last Friday of the outcome of the meeting.

“I know there was a lot of disappointment today of the outcome. However, going forward for me is exactly taking into consideration those thoughts today or those views shared today. I’m hopeful that we could try to work together with these codes but I really see that there’s a lot of disagreement. “

Although there were a lot of disagreements between the sports codes and NISCGA, Tony told BCN News that the opportunity to come back on board is most welcome. 

“The opportunity will be there for the next four years that we can make this correct. So whether they are going to jump on board, I invite them to come back on board and sit on the table, discuss what the issues are and then we can try and move on from that,” says Tony.

BCN News reached out to Niue Lawn Bowls (NLB) President Des Hipa who was also nominated for presidency to provide his views and comments on the outcome of the meeting. However, he is unable to do so at this time as he and a team from NLB left the island yesterday to compete in the Oceania Games held in New Zealand.

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