OFC Executive Committee member and Vanuatu Football Federation President Lambert Maltock presented the cheque to New Zealand Football Chairman Frank van Hattum just before kick-off of the OFC U-20 Championship grand final at North Harbour Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Maltock is pleased to be able to support the people of Christchurch as the city tries to get back on its feet in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck on February 22.
“This is part of OFC’s Football for Life programme that supports humanitarian causes and social development across the Pacific,” Maltock says. “On behalf of OFC President and FIFA Vice-President David Chung, I can say that we are pleased to contribute towards the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and the football community in particular.”
van Hattum is delighted to have received the donation and says the generosity of OFC will make a big difference to football in that part of the country.
“This will go a long way in delivering funds to Mainland Football Federation,” van Hattum says. “They’ve been hit hard down there and we want the development programmes to keep going. We have urged football people to help others in the football community and we’re very grateful to OFC for doing that.”
Shortly after the tremor hit, the New Zealand Football Christchurch Earthquake Appeal emergency fund was established by the New Zealand Football board of directors to assist the recovery of the world game in the Mainland Football Federation.
The OFC Football for Life initiative was launched in 2007 to help the victims of a devastating tsunami that hit the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.
In 2008, OFC partnered with UNAIDs to organise and promote ‘STOP HIV Day’. A series of initiatives and dedicated messages were included in the programme of the OFC Olympic Football Tournament held in Fiji.
Football for Life has also made an impact at a grassroots level by helping to fund equipment bags that are being distributed to primary schools across the region. The packs, which include balls, cones, bibs and resources, are part of the OFC ‘Just Play’ programme that promotes physical activity for kids aged six to 13 and encourages community involvement.
OFC wishes for the latest Football for Life grant to provide valuable assistance to New Zealand Football’s efforts to assist the recovery of the sport in the Mainland Football Federation region.
New Zealand beat the Solomon Islands 3-1 in the OFC U-20 Championship grand final to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011.