Vanuatu’s U-19s team reap benefits of recent Junior Matildas tour

The Westfield Junior Matildas’ recent Pacific tour continues to benefit the local communities, including the Vanuatu national team.

On the back of Australia’s visit to the country in August, the nation’s Ministry of Education organised a fundraiser to support Vanuatu’s Under-19 girls team.

The fundraiser was arranged to provide greater support and opportunities for the girls pursue their sporting careers.

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Almost Vt$100,000 was raised for the Vanuatu women’s team.

“There was a video of Vanuatu’s Captain, Rita Solomon, that spread through Facebook,” Ministry of Education Director General Bergmans Iati said in Vanuatu’s Daily Post.

The Westfield Junior Matildas and Vanuatu walk out for their clash last month (Pic by Joseph Mayers)
The Westfield Junior Matildas and Vanuatu walk out for their clash last month (Pic by Joseph Mayers)

“We were deeply touched by her words and figured we should do something to support the girls since most of their parents work at the Ministry.

“By the end of this month, the girls will travel to Cook Islands to play…and we hope this fundraising can help them.”

Rae Dower’s Westfield Junior Matildas became the first Australian team to visit the Pacific in 14 years as part of the ‘Pacific Step-Up’ Tour in August.

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In partnership with the Australian Government and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, the Westfield Junior Matildas visited Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and played a match against the under-19 women’s national team in each country.

The squad and members of the travelling party also conducted a number of coaching and refereeing workshops, as well as skills clinics in each country.

Action from the Westfield Junior Matildas clash with Vanuatu (Pic by Joseph Mayers)
Action from the Westfield Junior Matildas clash with Vanuatu (Pic by Joseph Mayers)