Samoa has stepped up preparations for the 2019 Pacific Games after introducing an Adopt-a-Country programme for thousands of students allowing them to learn more about their Pacific neighbours.
Primary and Secondary schools have adopted a country from the 24 participating Pacific nations.
Avele College has adopted Fiji and vice-principal Otilia Sooalo Mua said they were thankful for the programme which allowed their students to be more involved with having the Pacific Games on home soil.
“They have engaged with the Pacific Games and the country we are studying, Fiji, learning their national anthem and having a sense of their culture," he said.
Team Fiji Chef de Mission Patrick Bower said they looked forward to being a part of the Avele College family.
"The Adopt-a-Country programme initiated by Samoa's Ministry of Education Sports and Culture is a great initiative that will allow students to know and understand who, what and where Fiji is," he said.
"It is also an opportunity for Team Fiji to have support during the Games and we appreciate the initiative."
According to the www.samoa2019.ws, there is also a competition for schools with three categories.
The first is for the school environment that best depicts the spirit of the Pacific Games or the Greening of the Games, making them environmentally more sustainable. The second category is for the best cheers in support of the adopted country. The final category is for poster design.
The competition hopes to bring the slogan ‘one in spirit’ to the communities and schools.
"Greening of the Games is something else that all the students are thrilled to take part in," Mr Mua said.
“This has been a positive event for the students,” he continues. “Their behaviour towards the environment has changed, they have learnt to appreciate their surroundings and have a sense of responsibility for the environment.”
The Pacific Games being back in Samoa is having a real impact on the students and he is grateful to MESC for the initiative, running the competitions and getting his students more involved.