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The late PNG national volleyball coach Tommy Lui Kila farewelled

By Raphaella Kaore – EM TV, Port Moresby

It was a sad occasion for the national volleyball team as they united, dressed in their uniforms to farewell their mentor and coach, who had stood on their side through thick and thin.

Lui was described as humble, courageous and a God fearing man. His successspoke for itself; he took the Vabukori Amateur Volleyball Association to the National Volleyball championships in Lae to retain their 11th title only a month back before his death.

His many successs also included the 2013 mini Pacific Games, where the PNG Volleyball team won gold under his leadership.

All these achievements were noted when he was awarded the ‘2013 SP Coach of the Year’ and was recently appointed as the national volleyball coach for the 2015 Pacific Games.

He also played a leadership role in church as deacon, and was a talented musician.

2015 Team PNG Chef de mission, Richard Kassman, described Lui as a man with passion and a big heart to nurture and develop young talents. Kassam said his passing on has left a big gap to be filled.

VAVA president, Turaho Morea said it is hard to accept the fact of his passing on. 

PNG women’s volleyball captain, Josephine Dick said, Lui was not only a coach but also played the role of a fatherly figure to the team.  

A guard of honor was formed as the players carried his casket to the volleyball courts to pay their last respects before he was laid to rest.

Lui died at the age of 51. He leaves behind wife Mabata Lui, two daughters and one grandchild.

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