Congratulations Marist!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 18 February 2017, 12:00AM

And so is all well that ends well. The inaugural Marist International Sports Week is coming to an end today when the winner of the 29th Vailima Marist Sevens tournament proudly hoists the Vailima Marist Sevens trophy at Apia Park this afternoon.

How time flies when there is fun to be had. 

Indeed, the past week has been an eventful one, no doubt fun filled for everyone involved in this wonderful initiative by the Marist Sports Club. 

A first for Samoa, judging by the enormous success of the week, it certainly will not be the last. Which is something to be excited about because what Marist has done this week is show us all that where there is a will, there is certainly a way. 

It wasn’t that long ago that the Marist St. Joseph’s Sports Club announced the event. We’ve all come to know quite fondly the annual Marist Sevens but this year, the addition of the International Sports Week under the theme “Develop to Inspire and Inspire to Achieve” has certainly been quite spectacular. 

In the past week, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the boxing action, rugby league tournament, netball tournament, touch rugby and of course the grand finale which is being played at Apia Park today. 

The man behind it all is Club President, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio who is assisted by his hardworking Committee.

 “This is part of the Club’s bigger purpose to aid our sports athletes, officials and administrators achieve the goals that they have set,” he said.

 “Considering Samoa’s competitive involvement in the region and on the international fronts through some sports that the club is involved with, the notion to have five sports celebrated in the week long festivity is a step to the right direction.”

Well we couldn’t agree more. This is certainly a step in the right direction and one that should be encouraged. The only way our athletes will get better if they are continued to be exposed to quality tournaments. 

This is not to say that the standards are there yet but Marist has set a platform that should be consolidated and built upon. What’s important is that they have ventured into the unknown and have proven that it can be done.

Of course there remains the multiple challenges. We’re pretty sure the organisers would have learnt some tough lessons this week. 

But that’s okay. It’s par for the course. Such lessons can be used to improve the next one. You see the moment we stop learning is when we should pack up and all go home.

At the official opening of the week, Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, made some very important comments worth reflecting upon as this week comes to an end. In congratulating the Executive Committee of Marist, Fiame issued a reminder.

“Many of our country benefited through the Marist system, through education and like today, through sports development through the Marist schools,” she said.

“I must acknowledge Marist’s insistence to foster relationships and partnerships with Samoa Rugby Union, Samoa Touch Association, Rugby League Samoa, Netball Samoa and the newly established, Samoa Institute of Sports.” 

“This is the indication that Samoa’s development is nationwide rather then within the realms of its own boundaries.  I believe this is what they call the Marist spirit.”

“And for that, the government acknowledges and supports such initiative which in the long run will have greater benefits to our sports results at the National level.”  

Lastly, she said: “My challenge for Marist and its executive board is to keep raising the bar for sports development in our country.” 

“I do not need to mention how many great rugby players have come through the Vailima International Sevens to represent Samoa at the highest level.”  

“I hope that the inclusion of boxing and other sports, I hope to see more Lupesoliai Joseph Parkers in the near future. Our people have the raw and natural talents, all they need is a pathway to develop to inspire and inspire to achieve their full potential.”

Thank you Fiame. We couldn’t have summed it up any better.

On that note, we congratulate President Faimalomatumua, the Executive of Marist Sports Club, all the sponsors who have made this week possible and last but not the least the winners of the different competitions. 

Have a wonderful weekend Samoa, God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 18 February 2017, 12:00AM

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