The big island of Savai’i is set to become the centre of attention in the next few weeks with the official launch of the Inaugural Savai’i Games 2016 yesterday.
The events include the inaugural Upolu to Savai’i Swim on 7 April 2016 (22.3km); the bike ride around Savai’i (180km); and then the Marathon from Sale’aula to Salelologa on 16 April 2016.
The event was launched yesterday by the President of the Savai’i Samoa Tourism Association (S.S.T.A), Tupa’i Saleimoa Vaai, S.S.T.A member, Mapusua Sesilia Schwalger, Secretary Elisabeth Siaosi and Afoa Seti Afoa of Samoa Events.
“The Savai’i game was born out of the desire to work with Savai’i to answer their call for help,” he said.
“The voice from Savai’i was that ‘Upolu gets everything’, 80% of Samoa’s visitors stay in Upolu so Savai’i feeds off the scraps from the master’s table so to speak,
“The call was for us to bring something to Savai’i and this is the answer to that call. This is the first time in four years that we are doing something specifically for Savai’i.”
The focus is all about tourism and promoting Samoa as a sports destination.
“The purpose is to try inject tourism into the Island of Savai’i, tourism for Savai’i is not just limited to people from New Zealand, Australia and America... People from Upolu are also considered tourists,” Afoa said.
“This is an exciting initiative for Samoa events and we are very happy to put this on for Savai’i.”
The event itself will be bringing a few tourists into the country.
“There are people from overseas coming to these games; we have one from America, eight from NZ and one from Australia,” Mr. Afoa said.
“The thing for these people is that they will be bringing their families and friends over so it may not seem like many but the number will grow.”
There will be 10 people taking part in the Swim, about 20 for the round island bike ride and then quite a few taking part in the marathon.
This event will show off the beauty of Savai’i and will show the world that Upolu is just half of Samoa.