Vanuatu Paralympic Committee Jess Richardson, Liz Pechan and Margaret Macfarlane with parathlete and Commonwealth Games Bronze Medal winner Friana Kwevira, selling sausage sizzle sandwiches to raise funds for parathletes to travel to Pacific Games in Samoa and Arafura Games, Australia.

A sausage sizzle every Saturday morning outside a hardware store to raise funds for a charity organisation is a time honored tradition in Australia. Port Vila Hardware offered the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee the opportunity last Saturday – an opportunity the Paralympic Committee was very grateful to use.

“We’ve been told by VASANOC we have to contribute 45,000 vt per athlete and officials going to the Pacific Games in Samoa. When you have no core funding, this is a big amount to raise. So here we are selling sausage sandwiches outside Port Vila Hardware. We also have to somehow raise funds for our team of 5 para athletes and coach going to Arafura Games,” explained Liz Pechan VPC’s Treasurer.

VPC saw it as an opportunity to raise their athletes profile and Friana Kwevira Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist in javelin; Georges Langa, Para-rower and Emanuel Gorolea, Seated Shotput Pacific Mini-Games all came along to help cook the sausages and talk to passers-by.

As well as buying sausage sandwiches, the donations bottle was filled by generous supporters.

Port Vila Hardware provided the venue and set-up, Pacific Catering and Pechan’s Small Goods provided sausages and fillings and Ah Pow Bakery donated the bread.

“The trip to Arafura will give us a chance to have five new athletes classified and competing for the first time in a large internationally rated athletics competition. Even with support from Oceania Paralympics and the AGITOS Foundation, we have to raise 450,000 vt for our young Arafura team. It’s a big amount,” explained Margaret Macfarlane. “We have told our athletes that they too need to help raise the funds, not just expect a hand-out from the public or the Vanuatu Government who have so many groups asking for money. Down in Tanna, para-coach Timothy Loughman is hoping to do a Wheelbarrow fund raiser with his two young parathletes going to Arafura with their families and communities.”

A Wheelbarrow fund raiser see an empty wheel barrow being pushed around a community and people donating crops, coconuts, bundles of wood, cans of food and drinks which can later be sold for cash.

However on Saturday, it was generosity from an unexpected source that impressed the little ban of VPC fund raisers, At the end of the morning, the Port Vila Hardware staff did a quick of the staff who generously donated 4,000 vt of their own personal vatu to support the para-athletes!

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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