The blustery conditions yesterday failed to dampen the strong Marist spirit which prevailed when the Club kicked off the Marist International Sports Week yesterday.
Beach Road came alive with song and dancing as sportsmen and women proudly marched towards the government building for the official opening of the first Marist International Sports Week.
Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, congratulated the Marist family for pulling together another first for Samoa. Fiame has close ties to the Marist community as her father, the late Fiameē Mataā'afa Faumuinaā Mulinu'ū II was educated in the school system and also played rugby for Marist.
She eloquently acknowledged the major impact this sports week will have on the development of our local players and tipped her hat to the Executive Committee of the Marist Sports Club for the excellent execution of such a massive sporting event.
“Many of our country benefited through the Marist system, through education and like today, through sports development through the Marist schools,” she said.
“I must congratulate St. Joseph’s Sports Club for this innovative initiave that will no doubt enhance sports in our country.”
The theme for the International Sports Week is “Develop to Inspire and Inspire to achieve.”
In essence, the message by Marist provides an alternative pathway not only for athletes but for sports officials and administrators to achieve their respective goals at the highest level.
“I must acknowledge Marist’s insistence to foster relationships and partnerships with Samoa Rugby Union, Samoa Touch Association, Rugby League Samoa, Netball Samoa and the newly established, Samoa Institute of Sports.
“This is the indication that Samoa’s development is nationwide rather then within the realms of its own boundaries. I believe this is what they call the Marist spirit.
“And for that, the government acknowledges and supports such initiative which in the long run will have greater benefits to our sports results at the National level.
“I note that rugby sevens and boxing will feature quality international team and boxers. This is an opportunity for local players and boxers to test their talents against the best from outside Samoa.
“My challenge for Marist and its executive board, is to keep raising the bar for sports development in our country.
“I do not need to mention how many great rugby players have come through the Vailima International Sevens to represent Samoa at the highest level. I hope that the inclusion of boxing and other sports, I hope to see more Lupesoliai Joseph Parkers in the near future.
“Our people have the raw and natural talents, all they need is a pathway to develop to inspire and inspire to achieve their full potential. “
The Club also acknowledged is its lifetime partner and honorary member, the late Tupua Fred Wetzell.
Tupua’s sons, Vernon and Masoe Norman Wetzell, are Marist Old Boys. Even their grandfather coached the Marist soccer team.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Masoe said they will continue their father’s commitment to Marist.
“We have three generations of Marist Old Boys and hope for many more generations to come,” he said. “We will proudly continue this legacy and tradition that our father has supported.”
Apia Concrete Products then presented the Sports Club with a $30,000 donation.
Ending on a high note, the sports week has now been officially opened and we prepare for an exciting and entertaining week of action.