PRESS RELEASE 25.02.2005


Historical milestone for Tonga
Tonga team, officials and committee members

Nuku' Alofa,Tonga, February 25, 2005 - Tonga Volleyball makes history this year as it prepares to participate for the first time ever in the World Championships first round event. Tonga has previously only participated in the regional games, Oceania and South Pacific Games and is the only Pacific Island country this year participating in this event.

In this case they have to their disadvantage a foreign crowd as well as the lack of experience but to them the excitement and thrill of playing in view of an international audience far surpass the significance of the opponents that whey will meet in and out of court. If anything, the experience gained will significantly boost the level of the game in Tonga. With only a few days to go, the excitement has slightly ebbed while tension and nervousness has settled in making even the calmest player edgy.

The delegation to travel is composed of 12 players : N. Kama Manulevu (captain), Ti'o Fonohema (vice captain), Alipeti Olevao, Fakava'inga Kaufusi, Salesi Tu'akoi, 'Aisake Havea, Samuela Fotu, 'Isime'eli Tu'akoi, Siupeli Maka, 'Amanaki Fifita, Sosefu Tui, Samiu Malafu and 7 officials. They will travel to Cebu, Phillipines on 28th February where the games will be held from 2nd to 6th March. This is Tonga's first entry in international Volleyball events.

The excitement about this participation is all over the island. The team is encouraged by the back up they feel on the part of the islanders as well as the support received by the FIVB for their participation in this major international event.