Saints supporting Tonga: St Helens to raise funds for tsunami-hit island

Drew Darbyshire
St Helens Super League Konrad Hurrell Tonga PA

Konrad Hurrell of Tonga at the 2017 World Cup

St Helens have launched a kind initiative which will see training kit and sports equipment sent to Tonga following the Pacific island’s devastating tsunami.

The Super League champions are asking fans to either donate old replica playing shirts, old balls and any other sports equipment or clothing as they prepare to ship items over to Tonga which has been completely wiped out by the tsunami.

On January 15, an ash cloud and tsunami engulfed the islands of Tonga. The tsunami was caused by an eight-minute eruption of the undersea volcano. The Government of Tonga reported that the entire population of Tonga (approximately 105,000 people) had been impacted by the tsunami.

The damage created is heartbreaking to the people of Tonga, destroying family homes, infrastructure, crops, water supplies and much more.

St Helens have three Tongan players in their squad – Konrad Hurrell, Will Hopoate and Agnatius Paasi. Head coach Kristian Woolf is also the Tongan national coach.

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What are the club doing for Tonga?

The St Helens club will be kicking things off by supplying 250 shirts from their existing stock whilst St Helens players will be donating old training gear and clothing items to Tonga.

Fans are being asked to drop donations off at the Saints Community Development Foundation between the hours of 9am-8pm.

The deadline for all donations is Thursday, March 31.

Konrad Hurrell’s touching message

Hurrell said: โ€œI am the youngest of six kids and we didnโ€™t have much back home. We used to play rugby with plastic bottles and sandals. We didnโ€™t have much but we still found a way to come together to get through stuff and that is what we need to do now.

โ€œThe tsunami, volcano, the ash and waves has ruined everything in my country; the crops, the electricity, our water, our homes have all been ruined. We have to restart our life again in Tonga. Everyone is trying to get back on their feet again now.

โ€œOn behalf of myself, Will, Agnatius and Woolfy, we are Tonganโ€™s and we are all asking for your help. If you can donate rugby clothing, equipment 0r boots, I know my little island of Tonga would be so appreciative.

โ€œA lot of people across the world are going through tough times at the moment and we hate asking, but it is a time we all need your help and we would all appreciate it – whatever it is, small or big, it will help our people in Tonga.

โ€œThank you again to Saints and the rugby league people. Love and respect to you all. Thank you again.”

Saints also plans a hive of Tongan themed activity at the Saints-Warrington clash on Friday, March 11.

There is also a fundraising page for those who do not have equipment or clothing to donate.

Click here to donate:ย