Leader of South Pacific country competes in lawn bowls at the Commonwealth Games

Niue’s premier Dalton Tagelagi is taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham


Leader of South Pacific country competes in lawn bowls at the Commonwealth Games – even though his nation is suffering through its FIRST outbreak of Covid-19

  • Niue’s premier Dalton Tagelagi is competing in Birmingham in lawn bowls
  • His 14-year-old son is also part of Niue’s team at the Commonwealth Games 
  • Niue is a tiny Pacific nation located between Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands
  • The country has a population of approximately 1,800 inhabitants 
  • It reported its first outbreak of Covid-19 last week, with 14 cases  

The leader of a tiny Pacific nation was spotted at the Commonwealth Games, while his country was in the midst of its first Covid-19 outbreak.

Niue’s premier Dalton Tagelagi travelled to Birmingham not simply as a spectator, but as part of the country’s lawn bowls team.

Tagelagi was part of the men’s four team that lost 20-11 to Australia on Tuesday, before being defeated 21-7 and 18-4 by Northern Ireland and Canada respectively the following day.

Niue’s premier Dalton Tagelagi is taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

Niue’s premier Dalton Tagelagi is taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 

The three losses meant Niue, whose team also includes Tagelagi’s 14-year-old son Tukala, were knocked out in the first round and did not reach the quarter-finals of the men’s four.

Tagelagi was sworn in as premier in 2020 and insists his presence in Birmingham isn’t an issue as he is on annual leave.

‘I came here for a two-week break. This is the first time I’ve had a break since I became leader,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Tagelagi is part of Niue's lawn bowls team that is competing in Leamington Spa

Tagelagi is part of Niue’s lawn bowls team that is competing in Leamington Spa

His 14-year-old son Tukala (left) is also part of the team at the Commonwealth Games

His 14-year-old son Tukala (left) is also part of the team at the Commonwealth Games

‘I used the chance to bring the young fella here and give him that experience at high-level sport.

Located between Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, Niue has a population of about 1,800 people and declared its first coronavirus outbreak last week.

‘We will move to COVID Alert Code RED. This will take effect immediately,’ acting premier Sauni Tongatule said in a statement. 

Tagelagi was sworn in as premier of the tiny Pacific nation in 2020

Tagelagi was sworn in as premier of the tiny Pacific nation in 2020

Tagelagi, however, said the country was coping well even without his leader for the time being.

‘We have a little bit of an issue with our community in terms of an outbreak of about 20 [Covid-19 cases],’ he said.

‘They’re managing it well. I still keep an eye on what’s happening back home. It keeps me busy.’ 

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