The Teuila Tag festival tournament officially opened yesterday with an ava ceremony welcoming international teams and officials.
The Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.) Fale hosted 38 teams with 10 from New Zealand and Australia with 28 representing local clubs from around Samoa.
The two-day tournament will be held at the Football Federation Samoa (F.F.S.) oval at Tuanaimato tomorrow and Thursday.
The teams will be playing in four different divisions in open men’s, open mix, open women’s, and masters.
President of the Samoa Tag Incorporated, Faaofonuu Leota, welcomed the international guests and local teams.
“As you may know we are really strong in our cultural values hence with the opened with the ava ceremony.
“The main reason why we picked the Teuila Festival to host our event in is due to it being a well-known festival throughout the South Pacific from Samoa aside from the Independence Day.
“It is good to have the overseas teams here so that local teams could experience the difference from standards abroad and locally,” he said.
Faaofonuu said Samoa’s hosting and organising of the tournament is important as if it is done well it could open the door to future events.
“The organisation of this tournament is really significant that the world is watching, if done well, everyone will also come and play. We should all be proud Samoans because it’s the first time for such an event hosted within our country,” he said.
He said such events are also tourist attractions which will attract tourists and in directly contribute to the country’s economic growth.
Faaofonuu said for any major event, financial support is always a challenge but thankfully they did fundraising and were able to secure sponsorship.
The sponsors for the Teuila Tag festival tournament are: Taula Beverages, Samoa Commercial Bank, Samoa Airways, Samoa Tourism Authority, Bank South Pacific, Digicel, Samoa Finance, JP’s Fitness and Jibb Auto.
The international teams that are participating in the tournament will run coaching clinics today in selected schools in Apia. Tag is a non-contact sport that is different to touch rugby as when the players drop the ball they continue to play.