Leifi'ifi College boys and girls win school tournament
The Leifiifi College boys and girls teams scooped the Secondary Schools Soccer Tournament trophy yesterday at the Tuanaimato soccer field.
The boys team won $500 cash prize, a trophy and certificate, and the girls team walked away with $300 as well as a trophy and certificate.
For the girls' division, Leifiifi College won against Safata College, and the boys team overwhelmed Vaimauga College during the finals.
Leifiifi College Coach, Tumua Leota, said joining the soccer tournament was a dream come true for most of the students as they've always had it in them.
"It's something to be proud of and going back with this trophy and this success means that all our efforts to provide this chance for these students are worth it.
"We will not stop from here and we intend to grow their talents in soccer and keep having something to be proud of outside of school," Mr. Leota said.
This is also a great opportunity to push the students to attend school as they have a "Sports Award" programme that Mr. Leota said every student is interested in.
Under the award, the best student athletes are recognised, and Mr. Leota said it's a program by the Association of Leifiifi ex students to recognised students potential.
Six secondary schools participated in the tournament: Sagaga College, Safata College, Leifiifi College, Robert Louis Stevenson's College, Vaimauga College and Avele College.
The Football Federation of Samoa's (F.F.S.) spokesperson, Angela Lafaialii Pauga said the aim of the tournament is to build the hidden football talents in secondary school students.
She said it's also a platform for F.F.S. to increase the participation of women from secondary level to participate in developing the teams for the Oceania Tournaments Under 16 and Under 17.
Safata Women's team coach, Anna Opheira said there is lot of potential in her players and acknowledges the opportunity given to schools in the rural areas to participate in this tournament.
"We're just so grateful because we're now able to see the potential of our students in sports and their eagerness in football because although we give mostly focus on their knowledge inside the classrooms, but the students are different and soccer has played a huge role in opening the students' minds to different aspects of life," she added.
Vaimauga College staff member, Iuta Leaana said the tournament had been an eye opener for the students in his school.
"Seeing from experience, football in Vaimauga district back in the days was quite popular and now that it has been awoken, I can see that somewhere the future, the students of Vaimauga College will make a good sport in football," he said.
Sponsored by F.F.S, Ms. Pauga is confident the next tournament will have a lot of schools participating.