Business House touch a part of overall development strategy
The Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) Business House Championship touch finals were played recently, with the Attorney General’s office/Electric Power Corporation team winning the final 3-2 over Computer Services Limited/Apia Insurance Company.
But as Samoa Touch president Michael Wulf explains, the competition is about far more than just the results.
“That was the first tournament that we partnered up with the Ministry of Health, using touch to promote healthy living,” he said.
“We promoted a lot of healthy eating, non-smoking and mental health messages.”
Wulf said they want to partner with M.O.H. for next year as well.
“Our part to play is making sure there is no alcohol consumption or smoking at the tournament.
“Ministry of Health gives us financial support, which is useful as well heading into our World Cup campaign.”
Next year is a big one for touch, with the World Cup in Malaysia in April-May followed by the Pacific Games in July.
Wulf said they need strong results for the sport, to get community and government support for future development.
“In the past two or three years, the numbers of people playing touch have increased enormously, and especially among women.
“We lack a lot of resources in terms of administration, and don’t even have our own fields to be able to practice.”
Wulf said the goal for the World Cup is to improve the country’s international ranking.
Samoa is currently 5th in the open mixed, 7th in the open men’s and 11th in the open women’s.
“We want to take the team to the top five for all three divisions,” said Wulf.
“To ensure we get high recognition in the world of touch, and have games against the high-level teams.
“Then we want three gold medals for Samoa at the Pacific Games.”
The final open women’s squad for 2019 was named last week, and the men’s team will be named by mid-January.
“The challenge is the training squad we’ve selected, it’s a mix of local and overseas-based players,” said Wulf.
“Having those experienced players from New Zealand, that will ensure our local young talent here can develop.
“We’re focussing on not just this World Cup, but the next three or four.”
Queensland Samoa Touch Association are aligned with the organisation here - they will select the mixed team.
“We don’t have the funding to take three teams,” Wulf said.
They will also name their squad next month.
MOH Business House finals results
Attorney Generals office/EPC 3 vs 2 CSL/Apia Insurance Company
SRU 16 vs 3 Island Rock
MOF/FESA 4 vs 2 SSAB
Airport Authority Jetz 10 vs 4 Flash
MVP - Female: Victoria Lauina (MOF/FESA)
MVP - Male: Jedi Sua (EPC/AG)