UPDATED: Correction to the story. Team Niue has ten players, not eight, including Chris Hipa competing in the womens triples and fours category and Greg Funaki competing in the mens pairs and fours. Tukala Tagelagi is also 15 years old.
The Niue Lawn Bowls departed the island on Monday this week as they head off to compete in the World Bowls Championships to be held in Gold Coast, Australia.
The championships will take place from August 29 to September 10, 2023.
Before departing the team gathered back at their clubrooms to have a final briefing and a blessing.
Minister of Sports and Social Services Hon. Sonya Talagi was there to farewell the team with her words of encouragement.
“Thank you all for your hard work and fundraising to attend this tournament. It’s so good to have the support from the community. I feel for lawn bowls and I really hope in my role as Minister of Sports that I’ll be able to help, not just lawn bowls, but all sports codes progress.”
“Thank you all for persevering and I really hope that you bring back some medals for us and enjoy your time out there…We see how hard you work and train. We wish all the very best and safe travels”, says Minister Sonya.
The President of the Niue Lawn Bowls Des Hipa who is also coach of the team gave his encouragement speech to the team before they left.
“How much time you give, how much effort you want to put in. That extra hour could make a lot of difference. It’s what you put in and put out. Being a coach is challenging at times. My role is nearly finished now. It’s your time to perform on the field. Not saying that I won’t be there to support you but I have committed myself to help as best as I can.”
The Niue Team includes eight players and two officials.
For the women players includes first-timer Niue Lynsey Talagi competing in the triple and fours.
As well as Catherine Papani and Pilena Motufoou both who will be competing in the pairs and fours category.
And experienced team member Joy Peyroux will play in the singles and triples.
For the mens, Keith Papani will compete in the pairs and fours.
In his first time representing Niue after taking up bowling two years ago, Tifaga Tupuiliu will play lead in the men’s triples and fours.
Sixteen year old Tukala Tagelagi will play triples and fours.
One of the team’s most experienced players Stanley Tafatu will compete in the singles.
The Team Manager is Bill Vakaafi Motufoou and President Desmond Hipa as Coach.
According to Bowls Australia, more than 400 competitors from 44 countries around the world will descend on the Gold Coast from August 29 to September 10, competing in 1,244 matches at the first World Bowls Championships since 2016.