Over 100 diners enjoyed a meal served by the New Zealand Tonga Rugby Association (NTRA) last night June 14 at Manurewa Rugby League Football Club to acknowledge Tongan rugby stars who played for All Blacks, New Zealand professional rugby teams as well as ‘Ikale Tahi team.
Two Tongan former All Blacks, Charles Riechelmann and Pita ‘Alatini attended the function. ‘Emosi Koloto, president of the NZTRA told Kaniva News, the Association was happy with their attendance as it marked a good start in their attempt to provide an opportunity to honour the success of the talented Tongan rugby players.
Malakai Fekitoa from Auckland Blues also attended.
Koloto said the initiative was made in appreciation of all Tongan rugby players in New Zealand as well as parents and supporters who helped to make dreams of these famous players happened.
The NZTRA was aware of the values and benefits Tongan rugby players who joined All Blacks and other New Zealand rugby teams as well as 'Ikale Tahi contrubuted to the Tongan communities but once these players retired their heroic achievements seemed to be ignored, he said.
Koloto, a New Zealand former rugby league and rugby union footballer since 1986 said the function was planned to take place every year and to be one of the Tongan biggest function in Auckland.
The dinner function was an inspiration and a great chance for young Tongans who still at high schools and have the potential of becoming rugby stars in the future, he said.
As with many other Tongan functions, solo dances were performed and provided by families and friends from the communities and a team of Tongan bodybuilders also entertained the guests.
NZTRA was established on March 2013.
Featured image by Melino Maka