ikaletahi @vaiola 15Nuku’alofa, 9 July 2015: The 2015 Pacific Nations ‘Ikale Tahi squad has taken time today to reconnect with the local community in Tongatapu, visiting Vaiola Hospital, the Ofa-Tui-Amanaki (OTA) Centre for Special Education and Hu’atolitoli Prison. One of the key drivers for ‘Ikale Tahi is family, community and their connection to their homeland. Today therefore provided a special and poignant opportunity for the team to give back.

Beginning in the paediatric ward of the hospital, the team spent time visiting with young children, with time taken for autographs before heading to the adult wards where patients were able to enjoy the company of the players, who mingeled and chatted with the patients and medical staff.

The team split up to visit two OTA locations, a part of the Red Cross, who assist children and adults with special needs. The team was treated to musical performances by the children present, before travelling to Hu’atolitoli Prison to meet with inmates and offer their support.

A special feature of the day was having the team join the annual conference of the Free Wesleyan Church for lunch, where the team was able to sit and enjoy the company of the massed crowds gathered to celebrate this unique and special event.

The team certainly made the most of the chance to connect with as many of their fans as possible, and look forward to further events scheduled for later this week.

nili@vaiola

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