Friendly welcome before battle

By Sina Filifilia Sevaaetasi ,

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Team Opetaia: Jai Opetaia’s leader receiving specials honours.

Team Opetaia: Jai Opetaia’s leader receiving specials honours. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

A traditional ava ceremony is the ultimate welcoming for visitors to Samoa.

Yesterday, the Marist International Sports Week committee officials welcomed the international boxers for the Fight for Marist II with  a special ‘ava ceremony at Hotel Tanoa Tusitala. 

The Fight for Marist II will start with preliminary rounds on Thursday at Gym 1 Tuanaimato, with final rounds on Friday.

The boxers arrived on Sunday and have since been enjoying the beautiful island of Samoa.  

Yesterday, boxers, their trainers, and officials from the Samoan boxing community joined in unison to welcome all the boxers who have travelled far and wide to be here.

Leaders: President of Marist Sports Club Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio flanked by boxing officials .
Leaders: President of Marist Sports Club Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio flanked by boxing officials .
Proffesional Boxer Jai Opetaia with Trainer and Tavui Mike Lemisio.
Proffesional Boxer Jai Opetaia with Trainer and Tavui Mike Lemisio.
Team American Samoa: Coaches who will be bringing  Kaisa Ioane, Ofisa Taumalo, Falaniko Tauta, Jeffrey Tago.
Team American Samoa: Coaches who will be bringing Kaisa Ioane, Ofisa Taumalo, Falaniko Tauta, Jeffrey Tago.
Team Tonga:  Coaches from Tonga with their fighters John Slade and Tomasi Lalakai
Team Tonga: Coaches from Tonga with their fighters John Slade and Tomasi Lalakai

All teams from Australia , New Zealand,  Tonga and American Samoa were present for the ceremony.  

The ‘ava ceremony was conducted in both Samoan and English for the guests who do not understand the native language.  

Many teams brought fighters who are of Samoan heritage but were raised overseas, so the ava ceremony was the first of many cultural practices that they will be exposed during their stay in Samoa.  

The ceremony concluded with traditional song and dance where visitors from overseas got to try out their siva Samoa.  

The teams will be present for the massive Parade that will take place today beginning at 8AM in front of the FFM Building. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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