KINGDOM BOWL II – Back To The Roots
July 4th, 2003
U.S. Mainland celebrates their win with ‘Atele College after the game
at Teufaiva stadium.
Liahona High School continued to cheer all the way to the
end. They came in 2nd place in the Cheerfest.
Kingdom Bowl 2 was a success! In fact, it surpassed the first one in 2002. More players, family members, and supporters had participated this time. Based on our evaluation last year, we were able to fine tune and improve several areas. Through cell phones and emails, we were able to better communicate with the players and parents throughout the country before the trip.
Hawaii Team with Coaches at Teufaiva Stadium
The mainland group left Los Angles on an Air Pacific flight to Tonga via Fiji while Hawaii packed Polynesian Airline with 86 people of the 120-seat aircraft bound for Nuku’alofa via Apia. The unpolluted fresh breeze of the Fuamotu Airport was a great welcome. The usual crowd of families, friends, and the “kau penipeni” were waiting with great anticipation.
The Nuku’alofa block party was a hit. It seems like every soul that lives in the island of Tongatapu attended, both young and old, big and small. A few of our girls and boys from Hawaii performed two numbers. Foods of different kinds were available for less than five pa’anga. Entertainment was provided by various groups at different locations on Taufaahau road, from Mala’e Kula all the way down to the main post office. The members of the LDS Nukualofa Stake, coordinated by Elder Pita Vamanrav, welcomed us to their facility for a dinner and dance on Saturday night where the players from both teams were introduced. Of course, our boys impressed the local girls with their “moves” as they enjoyed the beats of local hits. President Shumway of BYU-Hawaii was in Tonga for official business was able to join us that evening.
The members of various wards and other churches treated us very nicely as we visited their services on Sunday. We were able to attend the Methodist church service at Nukualofa together with King Taufa’ahau.
All the Miss Heilala contestants were there and some of the boys had taken pictures with them. Sunday in Tonga was an eye opener for most of the boys, from the sound of the morning (5:30am) church bells and lali of different churches, to the “no-store opens” law, let alone the Sunday attire of everyone as they went to church. The entire town of Nuku’alofa, especially the Taufa’ahau road, was emptied.
After church at Saione.
Yeah! I am very much single! Coach Ula Lomu
with the Miss Heilala Contestants.
Welcome by Combined Stakes at Havelu Chapel.
TYA girls doing a Tahitian number at the Welcome Dance at
Havelu, hosted by Pita Vamanrav’s Stake.
The 4th Of July parade was exciting, the floats were beautiful; all the different high schools with their colorful uniforms and brass bands took part on these festivities. Both sides of the street were crowded with people from all over the country. People from neighboring islands came to be part of the celebration. Our boys marched only half of the route because we played
at Teufaiva Stadium in the afternoon.
Miss Heilala Contestants at Saione.
Players enjoy watching different schools during the Education
The two great Mothers who took care of the boys:
‘Uheina Tauheluhelu from Maui & Nola
Otuafi from Reno.
Chris ‘Unga, Timote Fotu, and ‘Uheina from the
Back (Parade Day).
PRACTICE…PRACTICE…..AND MORE PRACTICE
The excitement of playing a football game in Teufaiava was so obvious as we watched these boys prepare and practice. In fact, the morning practice started with a morning run at 6:00am. From the Hotel around the Malae Kula to the Hala Vaha’akolo then back to Taufa’ahau road for a long stretch to Teufaiva park and back. Both teams practiced separately on different fields and places as they fine-tuned their plays. We have good coaches for both teams that helped our boys prepare for the game.
Hawaii doing their local haka during the parade, lead
by Viliami Nauahi.
There were several Miss Heilala activities throughout the week that the teams were invited to. In fact, Fusi Livai, wife of Coach Siuaki Livai, was invited to be one of the judges on one of those event. The nightlife of the Heilala week was there for us to enjoy. We were able to visit Tupou College and met their rugby team members. We toured the school and saw the classrooms and their “weight room” and enjoyed their humbleness.
We had a wonderful relaxing day at Pangaimotu, one of the remote islands across Nukualofa, and it was soooo cool, the water was so clean and clear. The boys had so much fun together and it was rewarding for us to see our boys, both from Hawaii and the Mainland, starting to bond with each other as we ate, played and had fun together and it would be a memorable experience for all of them. That was one goal of this organization. The 15-minute boat ride from Uafu Faua to Pangaimotu was a treat and very relaxing.
U.S. Mainland Team doing their haka during the parade,
lead by Sele Fauolo.
Pangaimotu island was one of the highlights in Tonga.
The boat took many loads back and forth to Pangaimotu
island, it was a fun 10 minute ride.
Players relaxing and enjoying the Pangaimotu tour.
GO BIG RED!
Game day at Teufaiva Stadium. The US Mainland won! Red – US Mainland, White – Hawaii.
Posing in front of the crowd at
Our football game was between 2 high school rugby games, said to be the “top 4” of the season. Toloa (Tupou College) against Tonga High and Atele against Liahona. It was very exciting to watch the level of professionalism and sportsmanship. Our boys were introduced one by one, as they slowly walked in front of thousands of people who packed Teufaiva Park. A special feeling of pride was felt when the crowd cheered as Finau Hafoka read each boy’s parent’s and grandparent’s names and village. People were talking about their connections with some of the boys.
TYA sponsored awards for the day, from the school with the best cheer to the most student participating. The MVP of each game and the defensive and offensive players of each team were all recognized with monetary awards.
After the game, the boys were released to stay with their families and some went off to the neighboring islands of Vava’u and Ha’apai.
Before the game all the boys were introduced one by one to
CONGRATULATIONS: Mainland: 20, Hawaii: 6
We want to say MALO ‘AUPITO to all the people of Tonga, to the students of all the high schools, and everybody else who has helped us. We felt so blessed to come back to our “roots” and learn for ourselves the values that our parents and grand parents have tried so hard to teach us but with little success. Being there in Tonga and witnessing how these values are taught and applied has given us different perspectives of our family and ourselves. We want to thank the TYA for the experience of a lifetime, and may this program continue to touch the life of our young people as it did to us.
The Haka by the Hawaii Team at Teufaiva Stadium.
Again, the U.S. Mainland celebration continued for a while
with ‘Atele College.
TYA – First Boys Basketball Team played against the Boys
Tonga National Team too and TYA won.
First Girls Basketball team to play the Girls National Team
in Tonga. Our TYA Girls won.