Tag rugby pushing against violence, bullying in schools

Samoa Tag Incoporated ran a tag rugby clinic at Chanel College yesterday as part of their campaign to bring the sport into schools and promote their message; "Stop the Violence and Bullying".

Clinics have been held at Chanel and several other Zone B schools in the lead-up to an upcoming inter-school tag tournament.

Samoa Tag Incorporated president Faaofonu'u J.P. Leota said as a sport they love to drive messages of safety, sportsmanship and fair play.

“We base our sport around safety.

“It’s a non-contact sport, so there shouldn’t be any violence or any fighting in it, just playing the sport."

He said they want to keep schools safe in every aspect; sports as well as education.

“We thought that with recent events happening with schools, fighting and all that sort of stuff maybe we could use our sport as a non-contact sport to try and drive the message there.

“We wanna protect all our players and spectators and families.

“So far at the colleges, the schools and families are buying into it."

He said getting the message across to kids that they should be friendly at school, respect each other and not look down on others was important.

“If the message is driven at a young age, when they eventually grow up they’ll know those are the ethics and responsibilities they carry as a person.

“When they have their families, they can teach their kids."

Faaofonu'u said the federation's backers Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, and the Samoan government appreciate the messages they are delivering.

“They’re driving the non-violence and bullying in schools as well, so we came at the right time.

“They’re really really helpful for us to make sure we establish tag in Samoa, and globally for Samoans."

The sport began around 1990, and Samoa Tag Incorporated has been running for about 18 months now.

“We build slowly, we’re not in a rush to try and get to the mountaintop already," said Faaofonu'u.

He said they need to build a good, sustainable foundation first.

“We just wanna get people playing the game, we’ve been driving a lot of tournaments and programmes to create awareness of the sport of tag.

“We’re well aware of tag being 20 years behind all the other established sports.

“It’s good to learn and watch from those established sports on how to build."

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