British coach in Pohnpei helping to reignite a passion for soccer


Bill Jaynes - The Kaselehlie Press
April 20, 2017
Pohnpei—Football (Soccer) coach Chris Smith is from Nottingham, England, the land of the character of medieval folklore, “Robin Hood”, who supposedly stole from the rich and gave to the poor. But Smith is neither an archer nor a swordsman. He doesn’t have a band of “Merry Men” but he does hope to foster a band of soccer players in Pohnpei. He is on his own, using his own money and the money of interested donors in order to continue the work of those who have gone before him to rekindle a love of soccer in Pohnpei, and to help provide a route for the sport to be followed for those who are interested in doing so.
He arrived in the wee hours of Monday morning, April 17, not having any clue what time it was or what day it was after having spent three and a half days traveling from the other side of the world. A few hours later, he was at the PICS field, face to face with 25 eager young soccer players.
“If there were a bunch of guys with this determination in England, they’d be going places,” he said. “First thing I noticed was, they are not pulling out of tackles. Yeah, the commitment can’t be questioned. I’m scared to play with those guys as someone who is managing an injury.” It was an ACL injury and several surgeries that took him out of game play. After several years of recovery and no injuries, just three weeks before he came to Pohnpei, he injured his knee again.
“But as far as these guys, they’re not scared of that. Half of them are in bare feet and half of them are in boots, but it doesn’t matter,” he said. “But it’s that commitment though. They have no boots and the pitch is ‘that’ deep in water, they still do it. They still come out.”

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US Olympian and Sports Diplomat visits the FSM

olympian 01

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
April 3, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—Three time US Olympian and silver medalist in volleyball, Heather Bown visited Pohnpei and Chuuk under the auspices of the US Sports Diplomacy program.
“Sports diplomacy uses the universal passion for sports as a way to transcend linguistic and sociocultural differences and bring people together. Participation in sports teaches leadership, teamwork, and communication skills that help young people succeed in all areas of their lives,” the website of the US’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs says.

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Pohnpei SDA teams shine in Lincoln Nebraska Tournament

SDA team 01

By Eugene Pangelinan
Lincoln, Nebraska
Arriving in the wee morning hours on Sunday morning from Littleton, Colorado on a Amtrak Train, the Pohnpei SDA mens and women basketball teams were met by Union College staff to welcome them and transport them to their accommodations at Union College. Pohnpei’s SDA basketball teams could not imagine what was waiting for them over the course of eight days which included five days of basketball competition with among some of the top SDA schools from near and far. By all means, no team beat the distance the Pohnpei team had to travel to get to Lincoln Nebraska (6,690 miles according to Google) via United Airlines, Amtrak and Union College vans).
Accompanying the teams were Mens Basketball coach Miss. Michaela Garcia, Caleb Haakenson and Mr. Ryan Yamada. Pohnpei’s mens teams pictured below included Danny Fredrick, Shelten Neth Jr., Brian O’keef Jr., XX Musrasrik, XXX Jano, XX Navarossa, XX Yamada, XX Perman and XX Esiel.

SDA team 02
The women’s basketball team included Jeanette Yamada, Danielle Edward, Britannia San Nicolas, Gracelynn Pangelinan, Sunshine Palik, Blossom Perman, and XX Mathias. The Pohnpei SDA’s women had the fewest players making them very vulnerable with only two substitutions which eventually proved a challenge for the team to keep up with the fast paste events.
After four days of intense basketball completion, both teams played well and represented Pohnpei very proudly. Unfortunately both teams were eliminated but not easily providing stiff competition during their final games before elimination
Despite only a few supporters from Pohnpei residing in Lincoln and from some Pohnpeian residents from nearby areas and far travelled also to participate and support the Pohnpei teams throughout the events. At the end, Pohnpei SDA mens team won 3 of five games and Pohnpei womens team didn’t win any games. More importantly, the women’s team proved themselves when it came to the final’s elimination game in which they played the Ozarks. Despite lacking enough players throughout the tournament, the girls played their hearts out and gave it all their best down to the last second but came up short. Their perseverance and competitiveness was vastly appreciated by the local residents commenting the Pohnpei team displayed the strongest team spirit and were adored by many. During the congratulatory shakes, one Ozark player commented “that no team wanted to be the one to beat the Pohnpei team because they just so deserved to place better but it was recognized that they only had seven players compared to 15 players on all the other teams. They were definitely the best team!”
The rest is history and only pictures can speak a thousand words.

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Runners compete in Annual Rotary Club Fun Run


Rotary Club of Pohnpei
March 18, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—The Rotary Club of Pohnpei held its annual Fun Run on March 18. It was slightly rainy but there was a good turnout of approximately 150 people. The Fun Run was a 5K run/walk, and the proceeds will be used for the Rotary Club’s scholarship fund and other projects. These projects include support for the annual spelling bee in which 12 elementary schools participated, monetary support for the Pohnpei Swimming pool, and several ongoing projects including solar panel projects for local schools.
The top finishers were Casey Henry, Alex Alexander, Ryan Elias, J.R. Mendiola, Matt Weisker, Jordan Willoughby, Devon Aquinas, Aidan Smith, KR Rosario, and Reholiza Saimon.
They each received gift bags containing gifts from sponsors Bank of Guam, Petrocorp and Moylans’ Insurance.
The FSM NOC donated trophies to the winners in the following categories:
12 and under
Male Ted Jack
Female Rayla Yamada
18 and under
Male Devon Aquinas
Female Derisalynn Jonah
Master (over 50)
Male Dana Lee Ling
Female Donna Thompson
Male Casey Henry
Female Reholiza Saimon
Congratulations to all the winners.
Additionally the Rotary Club and Mahi International along with a number of volunteer medical professionals set up a booth to provide medical screenings and checkups before and after the race. A lot of people got some healthy exercise and a health checkup. All participants received free t-shirts donated by Ambros, Inc. Palm Terrace generously allowed us to use their facility for the pre and post race activities. Island Food Community of Pohnpei provided healthy local snacks, and the warm-up was conducted by the local Zumba group. FSM NOC set up the course and handled all the water stops.
We wish to thank all of our sponsors, Palm Terrace, Ambros, Inc., Pohnpei Ace Hardware, FSM National Olympic Committee, Moylan’s Insurance, Drops of Life, INS, Island Food Community, K Press, Petrocorp, Bank of Guam, and we wish to thank the following police departments for providing security on the 5K course, Pohnpei State Police, Kolonia Town Police and Nett Municipal Police.
A good time was had by all and the $5.00 entry fee went to assist some worthy causes.

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Donations for Basketball


Dr. Merlynn Abello-Alfonso donated 19 jerseys, warm up pants and 100 T-Shirts for PICS High School basketball teams. The uniforms will be used in the upcoming FSM High School Christmas Tournament hosted by the College of Micronesia FSM. The purpose of the tournament is to provide socialization among student athletes and to keep them busy with basketball without drugs.

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Guam Soccer Association donates 500 soccer balls to the FSM


By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 15, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—This morning, Pohnpei’s Governor Marcelo Peterson addressed a group of Kolonia Elementary School students in a jam packed classroom on their campus about the importance of exercise and fitness. The Governor and Senator McGarry Miguel were on campus to turn over soccer balls to the school.Governor Peterson and Senator Miguel said that the 13 balls that were given were part of a donation from the Guam Soccer Association. Governor Peterson said that during a recent trip together, he and the Senator approached the FIFA affiliated association which agreed to donate 500 soccer balls to the FSM.
After the presentation at Kolonia Elementary School, Jose Joab, Chairman of the Pohnpei Sports Commission distributed the remaining 187 balls to the principals of the 31 Elementary schools, five private schools and to the Pohnpei and Kolonia Soccer Associations during a ceremony at the PICS gymnasium.

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