Savai'i tournament keeping kilikiti alive

Traditional Samoan cricket, better known as kilikiti, is alive and well on  the big island of Savai'i.

The annual tournament kicked off on Tuesday with eight local and international teams vying for the top prize.

An opening parade starting from the Sa’asa’ai Gas Station towards the Saipipi kilikiti field started the formalities.

The eight teams comprise of five from Savai'i, two from Upolu and one from American Samoa. 

Reverend Elder Kaleve Leifi, of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa at Saipipi, opened the tournament.

He used the opportunity to remind the teams and players about the true meaning of sportsmanship.

“Winning is important," he said. "But if you try so hard to win and end up failing at the end, don’t get upset. There can only be one winner at the end of the day.

“To me, one of the greatest lessons we can learn from these games is keeping the peace. Like any other competition in life, we all strive to be winners.

“But never let that blind us and lead into other unnecessary behaviours. We should keep the peace at all cost and this tournament will definitely end on a high note."

Focusing on the tournament itself, Reverend Elder Kaleve Leifi said the event was an opportunity to "connect and share" their talents and passion for the game. 

"Coming together for this tournament means we are all brothers in Christ putting aside our differences and promoting peace."

The Pagai cricket team from American Samoa were last year’s champions and are back this year to defend their title.

The first match was between the Tanifa o le Vao team from Sili and the Pagai cricket team from Tutuila. 

In the second match,  Laulelei o Amoa team from Saipipi took on the Toamua cricket team from Apia.

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