Club focuses on grassroots rugby

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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Action from the clash between Marist and SCOPA at Apia Park last week.

Action from the clash between Marist and SCOPA at Apia Park last week. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Marist St Joseph’s move to join the Taula Apia Rugby Union competitions aims at developing the grassroots and engaging players in the sport.

Marist Sport’s Club President, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, made this statement to the Samoa Observer yesterday. 

Faimalomatumua also clarified that the move by the Marist St .Joseph’s Rugby Club to the Apia Rugby Union is not permanent.     

“The first thing like every other Unions should have is the Annual General Meeting,” he said.

“We are still waiting for the Apia West Union’s A.G.M. In the meantime, our players need to be playing.

“So that is why our team is at the Apia Union just to occupy the players’ time and it’s in the best interest of players.

“At the same time, it’s in the best interest of rugby.

“After the Apia West sort out their A.G.M., then our team will be back here to the Apia West Union.”

Faimalomatumua insisted that as far as they are concerned, the only issue they have now with the Apia West Union is of the A.G.M.

He said they had contacted the Apia West Union and they said they are going to call an A.G.M. 

“To me, that is okay and fair enough, but in the meantime we can’t wait any longer until the A.G.M. is done. Once it’s in place, we will bring our players in to play.

“The Super Nine Championships will be kicking off really soon and the players need to be conditioned for that competition.

Action from the clash between Marist and SCOPA at Apia Park last week. Photos: Misiona Simo
Action from the clash between Marist and SCOPA at Apia Park last week. Photos: Misiona Simo

“It’s an issue on the administration level but for the grassroots, it’s our job as administrators at Marist, we owe it to these players.

Faimalomatumua also mentioned that one of the issues with Apia West Union was that they have had two Constitutions.

He also confirmed that Marist St Joseph’s Rugby Club had no political interests behind their move.

“We have no interest in politics if there are politics within that level. 

“Our only issue is that we owe it to the players playing for the Club to develop their talents.”

Faimalomatumua added that Marist is working on a strategic plan for the next five years using sports as a tool to drive youth leadership, youth development and gender equality.

Marist, he said, is looking at developing all sports, including rugby league, touch rugby and netball.

Faimalomatumua added one challenge faced by the Club lately is the number of people wanting to join and play for the club.

One of the issues is the absence of a Senior reserve division and there is nowhere to send players who don’t get selected into the Senior A.

“If you come down to our field right now, there are about 60 kids present during our trainings.

“So that is why we have to be innovative in strategizing our movement to maintain these players so that they can be engaged in rugby as well during the season.

“The whole idea of where Marist is heading into now is to make sure all the players are developed so that the national selectors can look at them for national honours.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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