Blog Archives

16th. Pacific Games

From David Little
Please warn your readers that, starting on Monday in Apia, Samoa, is the 16th. Pacific Games.   Kiribati will be taking part in TEN SPORTS, i.e. Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Power-lifting, Taekwondo, Tennis, (Indoor) Volleyball, and Weight-lifting.
The Games web-site is accessible now, simply by clicking on “Samoa 2019”.   People may wish to support from afar !

KAA at the OAA Area Championships staged at Townsville June 2019

Report by David Little using data from OAA in Townsville.  (June 29 2019)


KAA at the OAA Area Championships staged at Townsville, June 25-28 2019.

Nei Kairao Tune, current Secretary of KAA, was Team Manager for the six athletes who travelled to Townsville, N. Queensland, for this competition.  Between them they covered some Mens’ and Womens’ sprints, Mens’ LJ and HJ, and Mens’ Discus. They were:- Nei Ruta Tooma, Tirioro Kamoriki Willie, Biira Burennara, John Ruuka, Lataisi Mwea, and Tongalua Walker Tune.   Results:-



Name Pos/ Time/


Rank in event Comment
June 25
M 100m. Prelim 2 Biira 5/7 11.63 23/33 Q for SF
              Prelim 3 John 6/7 12.02 28 Non-Qual
              Prelim 4 Tirioro 6/7 11.60 22 Q for SF
June 26
M 100m. Semi F 2 Biira 7/8 11.56 21/24 Non-Q for Final
                          3 Tirioro 7/8 11.41 20 Non-Q for Final
M Long Jump Biira 11/11 5.90m.
June 27
U20 M High Jump Lataisi 4/5 1.88m. 1 jump from 3rd. !
SM 200m. Prelim 4 Tirioro 6/7 23.59 20/28 Non-Qual
June 28
U18W 200m. Prelim1 Nei Ruta 7/7 30.73 15/15 Non-Qual
Open M Discus Tongalua 8/8 23.79m. Not yet 18 !


A few other random points:-

  • Nei Ruta ran against a serious headwind of – 2.3 m/s   She had been entered for the u18W 100m. but missed that event; so OAA transferred her entry to 200m.
  • Tongalua will be 18 in August and was entered in the u20 Mens’ Discus.  He missed that event and his entry was transferred by OAA into the Open (Senior) Mens’ event, meaning he had to throw a 2 kg. (Senior) discus against Senior Men !   The fact that he then had 5 legal throws (out of 6) and threw over 23m. are all good signs for his future, if the experience did not upset or damage him !
  • Lataisi – current KAA National record-holder – jumped clear first time at heights up to 1.88m. but could not manage 1.91m. for a bronze medal !
  • John was the KAA male sprinter at the Rio Olympics in 2016 !
  • KAA male sprinters need to be sub-11 for 100m. to be competitive.  Maybe the newly-constructed RKU Stadium at Bairiki will give them the facility and encouragement !
  • There are three images: one with the flag and Oceania first-lady Yvonne at their “Welcome”; one of four males with Nei Kairao (L-to-R Biira, John, Nei Kairao, Tirioro, Lataisi); and Tongalua with Ruta.
  • The uniform (red vests and blue half-tights) was provided by David Little, to be stored by KAA and be available for future athletes.
  • We say “Tekeraoi ni kabane” and safe journey home !

Report on Kiribati participation in the 2019 Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia.

Report from David Little, observing from UK.  May 2nd. 2019.

Brief History.

The Arafura Games began as the “Arafura Sports Festival” in 1991 with 1500 athletes in seven sports.   From 1999 the name changed to “Arafura Games”. With the exception of 2003, they have been held every two years until 2011, when they incorporated the Oceania Paralympic Championships in four sports.  For various reasons, including perceived cost, there were no Games in 2012, 2015, or 2017. A decision was made to re-commence the event in April – May this year. Invitations were sent out earlier this year.

2019 situation.

An approach was made to Kiribati Athletics Association (KAA) and this was referred to the National Olympic Committee (KNOC) since this is a multi-sport event.  It was decided to send KAA athletes and a pair for Beach Volleyball. Offers were made to KNOC to cover the cost of return travel and accommodation. The organisers did everything to encourage KNOC to respond by sending athletes/players.   But no application was made for the necessary FREE visas and thus no-one travelled from Tarawa. Fortunately four lifters, training in New Caledonia, were able to register for the Games and had their travel and other costs covered, independent of KNOC.   It was possible that I-Kiribati Para athletes might have been able to travel, but this arrangement also fell through.

So four weight-lifters arrived in Darwin and prepared to compete.   Their results:-

On April 27th. Ruben Katoatau (age 22) competed in the Mens’ 67 kg. category and won the GOLD medal, against five other lifters.  His performances were:- in the snatch he lifted 125 kg., in clean and jerk 160 kg., giving a total of 285 kg.

On April 28th. 24-year-old Taretiita Baraniko Tabaroua contested the Mens’ 73 kg. category and ranked 4th. of the 8 lifters.  His lifts were: 125 + 160 = 285 kg.

On the same day, 22-year-old Nei Tiiau Bakaekiri lifted 80 + 100 = 180 kg. in the Womens’ 71 kg. category and was ranked 4th. out of six.

Then on April 29th., the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, David Katoatau, contested the Mens’ 102 kg. division and won the silver medal.  His lifts were: 140 + 190 = 330 kg. In the absence of a travelling coach, David was supervising the team.

Thus Kiribati was successfully represented at this major Asian competition.   The next Arafura Games is due in spring of 2021.


Anote’s Ark Documentary English Premiere

Anote’s Ark English Documentary Premiere at The Science Museum

  • DATE: Friday 16 November 2018
  • TIME: 19.30–21.45 (doors open 18.45)
  • PRICE: £10 standard tickets, £8 concessions
  • LOCATION: Level 0,IMAX Theatre

Following its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, the Science Museum and Royal Society present the English premiere of ‘Anote’s Ark’, the very first feature film to be shot in the Republic of Kiribati.

An island nation in the Pacific Ocean, Kiribati is destined disappear within decades as a result of rising sea levels—granting its citizens the unfortunate title of first climate refugees in history.

This moving documentary follows the country’s former president, Anote Tong, on his journey through international halls of power leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference.

For more details, please click here.

Royal Academy Lates: Cosmic Ocean

Join the special RA Late event celebrating contemporary Oceanic culture and the unique natural landscape of the pacific islands, from seas to skies.

Covering nearly one third of the Earth’s surface, the pacific ocean is home to hundreds of islands, each with unique cultures and histories. Join us in celebrating these living cultures, from cosmologies and navigation, performance and ritual as well as the vast surrounding ocean.

Think pacific night star-gazing, coral reef drawing, traditional dance performances, street food and cocktail bars, lively talks and discussions plus DJs and music until late.

Please note that KTA dancers will be performing at the event, so all are welcome.

For more details please click on the event here.


KIRIBATI performances in the 9th MICRO Games in Yap, July 2018.

(From David Little) – An update on the Kiribati performance in the 9th Micronesian Games 2018.

Read here.

Te Bu – 2018

Please find below the digital copy of Te Buu.

Click here to read.



Kiribati team at 21st. Commonwealth Games on Gold Coast

From David Little

Kiribati has sent a team of 14 athletes to these Games.   They are represented in the following sports:
Athletics: 1 male and 1 female, both in 100m sprints.
Boxing:  2 males. One is in the 56 Kg category; the other in the 60 Kg
Table-Tennis:  3 males. They are covering the Team event, singles, and doubles.
Weight-lifting:  4 males and 1 female. The men are in the 62 Kg, 69 Kg, 77 Kg and 105 Kg competitions.   (The current Commonwealth champion, David Katoatau, is defending his title in the 105 category.) The woman is in the 69 Kg event.
Wrestling:  2 males. One is in the Freestyle 74 Kg and the other in the Freestyle 86 Kg


Guardian Article: Waiting for the tide to turn: Kiribati’s fight for survival

Read the article here.


Recent Developments in (Association) Football in Kiribati

From David Little.

Having been trying at various times since 1997 to get into either the Oceania Football Confederation (OCF) or FIFA, in May 2016 Kiribati Islands Football Association (KIFA) applied to join the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA).    And so Kiribati, representing Oceania, will join 15 other teams (who are not members of FIFA) in their own “World Cup”.   This is due to be held in London between May 31st. and June 10th. 2018.

A recent addition to the KIFA administration is Jake Kewley who visited Tarawa in 2015.   He is described as “Ambassador and International Manager of KIFA” and works from his home in UK.   He is responsible for the arrangements to get the KIFA team to London next year and initially is looking for sources of funding to cover the costs of the party of 16 players plus 2-3 coaches/managers.   The organisers will be supplying accommodation and food but each nation has to cover its travel (and other) costs.   For KIFA these have been estimated to total £50,000.   At least half this will be return airfares.   It is hoped the team will be able to leave Tarawa on May 24th. which would give them four days to train and acclimatise in London.    It is likely the team will leave London on June. 11th.

The other teams involved are:

Africa: Barawa, Matabeleland, and Kabylia.

Asia:  Tibet, Tamil Felam, United Koreans of Japan, and Panjab.

Europe:  Abkhasia, Padania, Northern Cyprus, Western Armenia, Ellan Vannin,

                 Febvidek, Szekely Land.

North America:  Cascadia.

Oceania:  Kiribati.

As you will see and note, the majority of these are not UN nations nor complete independent countries, both of which Kiribati are.   Outcomes will be interesting.   Once more details of draw, match dates, times and venues are known, they too will be published on the KTA site.   It goes without saying that your support and hospitality will be welcomed.   For more background plus an interview with Jake Kewley, please go to the CONIFA web-site/Oceania.