Affording the chance for better future opportunities for young Samoans is an approach that C.E.O. and President of Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B.), Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai, is keen on.
Through the assistance of S.S.A.B. Theodore McFarland will travel to Japan to join the Panasonic Wild Knights.
The Panasonic Wild Knights is a Japanese Rugby Union team based in Ōta City, Gunma prefecture which plays in the top league.
Theodore of the Moamoa Rooster Rugby Club is the son of Sarai and Steve McFarland. The 23-year-old will leave Samoa on 23 May, 2018.
The S.S.A.B. sponsorship for Theodore is valued at about $5,000.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Theodore thanked S.S.A.B. for being an excellent sponsor for their Moamoa Rooster Rugby Club.
“Despite the unfavorable results, S.S.A.B. believed in our ability and they continued providing financial assistance for the team.
“They’ve helped us in many ways, and we cannot thank S.S.A.B. for their keenness in promoting talent and see through that we get the resources that we need,” said Theodore.
“They invested in providing us a qualified coach, an excellent trainer from Rugby Academy Samoa (R.A.S.), rugby gears and equipment and of course our expenses and financial needs.
“I don’t think we would get this far without having S.S.A.B. as our major sponsor.
“Our Rugby team today has a lot of progress and improvement and for that, I am thankful for S.S.A.B. for their love and support,” said Theodore.
Tofilau Fiti sees this as paving the way for a son of Samoa to go into the world and make a name for him.
“This is also the opportunity for him to earn good wages playing the game he loves.
“Most of these kids don’t have a fall back plan in life aside from rugby so when opportunities such as this comes along, we take it without hesitation,” said Tofilau Fiti.
“I for one am dedicated to providing platform for our young players in the approach to career transition and our young rugby players who leave Samoa to play for foreign rugby unions have proven track record of delivering effective records and in return they have become professional footballers and have assisted their families.
“Ultimately, it’s about putting control back in their hands,” she said.
Head Coach of Moamoa Rooster, Gustav Slade, applauds Theodore’s hard work on the field.
“For the past two years, I watched Theodore very closely because he was a potential player that can further his rugby career here in Samoa (Manu) or club rugby overseas. Theodore’s move to accept the offer from Panasonic Wild Knights, while commendable, is a huge loss for Moamoa rugby in terms of leadership.
“He’s good with high ball, strong runner, very committed and is fearless.
“Theo was also selected for Samoa Basketball Team (captain) that won the gold medal at the Vanuatu Mini Games last year.
“I think this is a good asset for Panasonic and this is one of the huge challenges for other players from Moamoa Roosters as well who are looking at opportunities in overseas clubs,” said Mr. Slade.
His heartfelt gratitude to S.S.A.B. for their continuous support and their belief in seeing through the talents of the young men to the next level, said Mr. Slade.