On a trip to the Solomon Islands in December 2000, Brian Codrington and Sarah Codrington had the opportunity to participate in the relief and development works of Samaritans Purse, an international aid and development organization. The trip was also an opportunity to meet with leaders of different organizations in the Solomon Islands.
The country was in crisis after two years of ethnic tension and fighting. Guerrillas for the Malaitan Eagle Force and the Isatambu Freedom Movement had just ended their nightly gun and machete battles on the outskirts of the capital Honiara. It was estimated that 7,000 young men were involved in the conflict. Hundreds lost their lives, thousands their homes and possessions. The country was, and still is, reeling from the loss of infra structure and the ‘loss’ of the tourist industry, being a country that has for many years had negative tourist advices issued by our Dept. of Foreign Affairs.
As Brian spoke with political and community leaders the “cry” from each person was that something be done for the youth of the Solomon Islands – a generation that was losing hope and any confidence for a bright future due to the ethnic tension (really a civil war!). There was no organized sport for any children under the age of 14 years.
So the seed was planted, Dural Sport & Leisure Centre would seek to assist in the establishment of a viable sporting ministry to the people of the Solomon Islands.
It has been a very rewarding experience to see kids taken off the street and involved in sport. Young indigenous adult leaders have been trained and accredited as coaches, referees and administrators. A focus has been provided for young lives. Many have come to understand that God has a plan and purpose for their lives and as a result are now filled with hope for their future
The sense of community pride and achievement has been celebrated as Solomon Island junior teams have travelled to Australia and emerged as Champions in the Australian National Futsal Championships over past years including 2018.
We have also facilitated the introduction of educational scholarships for Solomon Island students at Sydney schools and Leadership Training Schools in the Solomon Islands.