In Savai’i, they don’t like kilikiti. They absolutely love it.
So much so a group of dedicated men on the big island have formed what’s called the Samoa Independent Kilikiti League. And their first activity is an Independence Day tournament, which has attracted a lot of interest from 18 different teams in Savai’i.
President of the Tournament, Fiu Solo, said their goal is to revive the traditional sport, contrary to calls for Samoa to ignore it and take up its English version.
“Kilikiti is our version of cricket, our people are used to it,” said Fiu.
“This game is not new to our people, it was introduced in the early days by the missionaries who came to Samoa.
“The idea was to bring people together, youths and everyone to meet one another and enjoy themselves especially during the holidays or weekends.
“For us in Savaii, it’s part of who we are. That’s why we have been finding it hard to ignore and we believe this is a new beginning.”
Part of that new beginning is Savai’i taking the lead in reviving the sport.
“We will have our own tournament for the Independence day. The only difference now is that this will take place in Savai’i not Upolu as it was before,
“The reason why we have created our own tournament is because 99 per cent of teams competing last year during the Kilikiti Samoa were from here.
“So we thought that it’s better for us to run our own and bring together all the teams on our island to compete with one another instead of going to Upolu where the interest seems to be lacking.
“It saves our times, money, and everything…because we noticed from past tournaments that only teams from Savai’i were competing.”
The tournament has already started. Teams have been divided into four pools, with games held all over Savai’i. One of the games was held at Saipipi on Monday.
The final is scheduled for 1 June 2016.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, Samoa Stationery and Books, Business System Limited, Digicel and Bluesky,” said Fiu.
“Thank you very much for your support and we’re looking forward to continue working with you in the near future.”
Member of Parliament from Fa’asaleleaga No. 3, Tofa Lio Foleni, spoke on behalf of the government on Monday at the game.
“Reviving our own traditional games is something that the government is looking at like you have done today,” Tofa said.
“To all the villages competing, chiefs and everyone involved, fa’afetai tele lava!.
“Let’s all work together to revive this national sport of Samoa.”
Anaolepe’epe’a – Samata Uta
Manini o le Vavau – Auala
Ana o le Sau – Fogatuli
Laumanaia – Fagafau
Tiger – Sagone
Fetulele – Faia’ai
Manuoifoa – Foailuga
Pusivai – Foailalo
Faifaitama’i – Vaipua
Ma’amusa – Puleia
Vaigafa – Gataivai
Tanifaolevao – Sili
Penina o le Asuisui – Taga
Vaiaisa – Samauga
Maugaolemaile – Salelologa
Laleleioamoa – Saipipi
Lauti Laulelei – Sapulu Salelologa
Liahona Stake Samoa