By Dane Campbell, Date:26/2/13
The Vanuatu-South Sea Invitational tour continues to attract mass media and general public support throughout regional Queensland with visits to Mackay and Bowen over the past few days met with enthusiasm amongst excited supporters.
The tour, which is being supported by the Queensland Government through the Multicultural Affairs ministry, is being staged to support the 150 Year Commemorations of the first people from Vanuatu coming to Queensland during the Black Birded period to work throughout the state. Already communities in Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay and Bowen have had the opportunity to meet with players and officials of the touring squad, with further visits to Ayr and Townsville planned over the coming days.
Commenting on the tour, Tonny Lui â€œIts been amazing to see the response from the Australian South Sea Islander communities throughout Queensland have had for us and the hospitality they have shown to open their homes and hearts to support us thus far. We have met many people already who are seeking to know more about their heritage and their ancestors Islands, in which we are happy to tell stories of modern day Vanuatu It is greatr to see the passion the communities have for Vanuatu and we really appreciate everything that has been provided for us to date and we are looking forward to meeting further communities over the coming week and sharing similar experiencesâ€.
Players have impressed throughout the tour, with clubs throughout Queensland showing an interest in signing players to contracts post tour. The Vanuatu Rugby League will continue to work with these clubs to ensure as many players have the opportunity to experience playing the game at a higher standard and increasing their knowledge and skills in the game.
Vanuatu Rugby League Presiden Tom Carlo stated â€œThe VRL are committed to providing opportunities to Ni-Vanuatu players to travel and play rugby league overseas, to not only broaden their playing skils, but also to have a positive influence on their education and social development. The new found skills and experiences will only further benefit players local communities within Vanuatu by providing positive role models and a sense of achievement.â€.