15 Sep 2014

Sport: First Tongan women's crew to compete at Alo Paopao Festival

11:54 am on 15 September 2014

A women's crew from Tonga will compete at an international outrigger canoe competition for the first time this week at the Alo Paopao Festival in Samoa.

The team from the Nuku'alofa Outrigger Canoe Club will race in the 20km marathon and 500, 1500 and 2500m sprint events, and have been training since February.

Rose Fangupo says it all started with the group - wanting to try something different and set an example for others.

"Just to get some activity going and the whole health aspect in Tonga we just started getting people into the sport and getting people interested in the sport. We're all mothers, we're all over 30 and we just thought, 'why not compete in a regatta'".

Rose Fangupo says the Nuku'alofa Club only started two years ago but is growing strongly and now has about 40 members.

She says the men's crews and sponsors have been a big support.