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Sione’s dream turning into reality

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Tonga is always in the heart of former NRL star Sione Finefeuiaki.

So much so that when he hung up his footy boots more than a decade ago, he made a concerted effort to give back to the island community in any way possible.

After being born in Viaola Hospital Tofoa, in 1979, the powerful forward forged an illustrious career with the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm, Manly Sea Eagles and Newcastle Knights.

He then spent a short stint in Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) before retiring in 2010.

Now, as the founder of local registered charity Sione’s Foundation, Finefeuiaki’s fulfilling his destiny.

“Our vision is to ensure that every child and young person has the opportunities in life that they deserve,” he said.

“And, with the help of my volunteer team, supporting businesses, the Tongan Government and the generosity of the Australian spirit, we’re making this dream a reality.

“Since the foundation’s inception in 2017, we have assisted schools, sporting teams, hospitals, community centres and disability facilities in Tonga.”

But, Finefeuiaki’s work is not over just yet.

He’ll host his inaugural Charity Golf Day at The Vintage at the Chateau Elan in the Hunter Valley on Friday 3 December.

The event includes 18 holes and cart, celebrity and pro player auction, a formal brunch with drinks and presentations to round it all up.

“The aim of the day is to raise funds to go towards rebuilding the community hall in Kolonga, which is the village where I grew up,” Finefeuiaki said.

“The original premises was destroyed in an earthquake many years ago.

“It is greatly missed by residents as a place to commiserate and celebrate, as well as serving as a vital venue for medical and education-related services.

“So, I want to help as much as possible.”

Finefeuiaki is also calling on some of his celebrity friends and former colleagues to join him.

“At this stage, Brent Kite, Aquila Uate and Glenn Stewart, as well as super coach Michael Hagan, Australian rugby union champions Toutai Kefu and Jeremy Paul, and professional boxer and television presenter Renee Gartner have all confirmed they will be attending,” he said.

“It should be a great day.

“While tickets remaining are limited, we invite everyone to come along and support us in our endeavour while having the chance to play golf at one of Australia’s most supreme courses.

“I’d like to thank major sponsor Sage Painting as well as other valued supporters #1 Business Solutions, BetMakers Technology Group, Southern Cross Fitness, Farragher Logistics, Coochie HydroGreen, WT Capital, Valley Rising Chiropractic and Shorehire Newcastle.”

More information on the Charity Golf Day, as well as Sione’s Foundation, can be found at www.sionesfoundation.com.au and tickets are available at https://www.trybooking.com/BTVBX

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