South Auckland primary schools do battle in friendly sports exchange

November 27, 2020

Two South Auckland primary schools joining for a sports day in Otara.

By Elijah Fa'afiu - elijah.fa'

Two South Auckland primary schools came together for a sports exchange in an effort to bring school communities closer together.

In a year where the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted interschool sports, Flat Bush Primary School and Manurewa South School competed in games of touch, basketball and rugby league in the South Side Challenge.

Flat Bush Primary principal Banapa Avatea says the sports day was a great way to connect with their fellow South Auckland school. 

“Today was an opportunity for us to move beyond the shadow of Covid into a space where our children could compete and most importantly, have a chance to share their talents that they’ve been showing in school to a wider audience.

“Inviting Manurewa South to our school was all about allowing our families to know that what’s happened this year hasn’t defined us, that we’re actually able to continue to do the things that we love to do and sport is a big part of that.”

The teams from each school consisted of boys and girls from years five and six. 

Flat Bush Primary student Otufanga Fa’u says she enjoyed playing against Manurewa South.

“It was really exhausting, but it was fun to compete with other schools.”

The year six student says her favourite sports to play were basketball and touch.

“I like moving a lot and basketball is a game where you move from one side to the other and I like to run.”

The Flat Bush Primary boys team preparing for a game of rugby league.

Fellow Flat Bush student Jireh Fiu Palagi was named one of the most valuable players in basketball this afternoon.

“In the beginning, I was kind of nervous but now I’m excited and I had fun,” says Palagi.

With Flat Bush having their interschool sports event cancelled due to Covid-19, Aden Popata says the sports day made up for it.

Popata says he enjoyed playing rugby league and touch.

“It’s two of my favourite sports in the whole wide world.”

For Manurewa South students Anika Falasia and Kruz Sampho, they enjoyed making the trip to Flat Bush for the exchange.

Falasia says: “I was really humbled and it was really competitive. I really liked Flat Bush’s competitiveness."

She particularly enjoyed playing her favourite sport rugby league.

“I got to face the girls who were bigger than me and smaller than me. I don’t really care if they’re small or big, I’ll still take on that challenge.”​

While Sampho adds: “It was really competitive and I just enjoyed the whole day. I had lots of fun playing touch."

Manurewa South School students waiting to receive lunch following their sports exchange.