Pasifika Sporting Legends Come Together For Vaccination Drive

Pasifika sporting legends have united to play their part in the effort to increase the vaccination rate for Pacific peoples 12 to 34 years of age by encouraging them to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

Stay in the game! Get your Shot! is the key message from the newly formed Pasifika Sports Collective, a group of sporting legends including former Manu Samoa captain Lemalu Semo Sititi, former All Black and Manu Samoa international Namulauulu Alama Ieremia, former Kiwi Fern and Manusina representative Cynthia Ta’ala-Timaloa, former Kiwis and New Zealand Warrior Motu Tony, and ex-Silver Fern Linda Vagana, who all represented Samoa and/or New Zealand.

Convener of the Pasifika Sports Collective Lemalu Semo Sititi says, “Stay in the game! Get your Shot! is our way of encouraging Pasifika young people to get a COVID-19 vaccination to keep them and their families safe.

“We encourage young people to stay in the game and get their shots so they can continue to enjoy playing sport. If they get their vaccination shot, then they can safely play games and a full season of Rugby, Rugby League, Netball, Boxing or whatever sport they love.”

The Pasifika Sports Collective is also calling to action all athletes, administrators and coaches from all sporting codes to stand together to increase the vaccination rates for Pasifika in Auckland by joining this vaccination campaign.

Auckland Rugby coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia says the collective are focused on helping Pacific young people to stay in the game as sport is viewed as a legitimate career path for many Pacific families.

The Pasifika Sports Collective have leapt into the vaccination game and will be hosting a vaccination event in Māngere on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 November. The vaccination drive-through event is aimed at Pacific young people who are involved in school sports or are members of sports clubs.

Manusina Assistant Coach, Cynthia Ta’ala-Timaloa is a key lead in the operations team for the vaccination drive-through event which will be held at Mangere East Hawks Rugby League Club, 10 Hain Ave.

The Pasifika Sports Collective is made up of athletes, administrators and coaches who are currently or formerly involved in sport. They first came together as Samoans in sport responding to the rally call by Samoa Tutū Fa’atasi, a movement that started in September to help increase the vaccination rate for Samoans in Auckland.

The current vaccination rate for eligible Pacific people in Auckland (approximately 201,000) is at 82% first dose with 63% fully vaccinated. This trails the total Auckland population (approximately 1,433,000) which is at 90% first dose and 76% full vaccination.

Image credit: The Pasifika Sports Collective