Putting together a mix team of boys and girls may not be an easy task, but through building trust and drive to play together can produce a formidable unit.
These were key factors behind the “Tau Tag Dis” team who came second in last weekend’s first Samoa Tag Inc tournament held at the Marist Brother’s Mulivai School.
Tau Tag Dis was among the 10 teams that participated and were made up of local business communities, sports clubs, Police Force, fire brigades, village members, and families.
Tau Tag Dis team was a unique team formed from a Women’s Touch Rugby team and couple of boys they just met on the field.
According to Tau Tag Dis skipper, Gabriel Apelu, their team was selected from a pool of more than 50 Taufusi and Apia boys running around the field, when her Titans Women’s Touch Rugby team came to try out for Tag Rugby.
“At the start of tag, my Titan’s Women’s touch rugby team was the only girls that came to try it out and there were heaps of Taufusi and Apia boys, about 50.
“On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are Tag days so there will be at least 50 boys and us girls running around on the field.
“Samoa Tag Inc then announced they will host the first ever Tag tournament and it will be mixed, so the idea of the team was born out of necessity.
“We didn’t have any boys to field a team and the boys didn’t have any girls to field a team, so we came together and formed one.”
Tau Tag Dis team had only one week to prepare for the tournament.
Ms. Apelu also acknowledged the Samoa Tag Inc creating this platform of gender equality, having girls and boys playing together, as well as their initiative as a game for everyone.
“We had a week to put our team together and the trust the boys put in us girls to come right was amazing. They didn’t even blink when we asked them to form a team.
“Tag has formed a platform that sees males and females playing together without a divide, a big nod to Samoa Tag Inc for creating this as well.”
Ms. Apelu says the support they’ve got from the guys in their team was something special.
“We have the most amazing group of guys. They are fully supportive and they encourage us girls and look to us for leadership.
“As they said they were very comfortable to be part of the team as they consider the girls to be good and that together the team had good skills. From learning tag together to finally forming a team, proud to say we are one of the founding teams of Tag.”
Tau Tag Dis team did well through the tournament and managed to win all their pool games. Tau Tag Dis lost during the finals where they lost in a sudden death when it went down to a drop off of four.
Ms. Apelu says for many of her team, it was their first time in a mix team as well as first time in a final.
Ms. Apelu also added that this has been a successful start of her team going forward.
“We are looking at building better team cohesiveness and getting better as a team. It’s forward and upwards.
“Also I have to make clear that the team was selected (the boys) from a pool of boys and they are not specifically street vendors. I would call them entrepreneurs. Perhaps only two of the boys actually go to school and the rest are unemployed.”