The Lefaga Rugby Union held a sevens tournament in the district for the first time in two years yesterday at Lefaga College field in Savaia.
Six teams from Lefaga and surrounding districts competed in the tournament, which the Union hopes will revive rugby and eventually other sports in the area.
A member of the tournament’s steering committee, Uaea Apelu, said the idea to have the tournament happened last October.
“The group that came together are very passionate about it.”
“We’re very happy it has actually happened.”
Samoa Rugby Union are also happy the tournament happened; Super 9 tournament director and Safata Rugby Union member Salesa Seiuli represented their interests at Lefaga College yesterday.
He said it was great to see the district getting back up and running.
“We want to encourage all our district unions to run their tournaments and competitions, so we identify the odd talent from here and there.”
He said Lefaga is one of the best districts in terms of production of talent, with national level players that have come into the Manu Samoa and 7s programmes.
He said those players are talented but sometimes go unnoticed.
“The lucky ones that do get identified by a coach from Apia will go play for a club there, but there are players no one gets to see.”
“Every now and then at some obscure tournament you suddenly see them and it’s like, ‘where was this guy’.”
Apelu said the kids in Lefaga all want to play for Manu Samoa, but no one is helping them.
“You look at the physiques of these guys; they’ve got more height, more muscles on them than what I see in Apia.”
“You can coach them, all you need to do is teach them the skills, they’ve got the physique they’ve got the passion.”
He said the Union eventually want to put on competitions for both men and women.
“We will actually go to the different villages and help their teams out every week.”
“We’d also like to use this platform to promote good health.”
Apelu said he plans to approach other sporting federations as well to revive other sports in the area.
“This isn’t only needed in Lefaga, but every district.”