Bank South Pacific helps to nurture Samoa Tag Rugby
Bank South Pacific (B.S.P.) has given Samoa Tag Incorporated a $10,000 tala sponsorship, making the bank the silver sponsor of the code's biggest annual tournament.
The bank's sponsorship of the "World Club Tournament" comprises $5,000 cash and $5,000 in kind.
Samoa Tag Incorporated President, Faaofo'nuu JP Leota, is grateful.
“It’s great, for us we’re appreciative of whatever we get because we’re a fast-growing sport,” he said.
"All this we got here today goes back to the sport, to the clubs to the development and making sure the tournament is run properly and also the referees and everyone are kitted-up with hats and the merchandize.
“So, really grateful for the opportunity to be sponsored by B.S.P.”
In a statement issued by the Bank, Head of Business Banking, Edward Yee, said they are happy to help.
“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Samoa Tag Inc,” Mr. Yee said.
“B.S.P. is deluged to become a Silver sponsor for the Teuila Rag World Club tournament. We are happy to be part of this inaugural tournament, which promotes, develops and utilises the talents of the youth.”
This is one of the many B.S.P. commitments to the community when they acquired Westpac Bank Samoa in July 2015, to grow together with the Samoan community.
The sponsorship reinforces B.S.P’s commitment not only as the market leader in the South Pacific’s banking and financial sector, but as a committed partner in the community, cultural and sporting activities.
“Tag is a new sport which is growing rapidly here in Samoa and its popularity has seen the sport grow amongst the different age groups within a short span of time,” said Mr. Yee.
“B.S.P. is proud to sponsor this event as participants of this tournament are players from villages in Savai’i and here in Upolu as well as a few teams from overseas.
“But most importantly we are giving a little back to the community by supporting this event to help with the youths development in their career in Tag.”
Faaofo'nuu told the Samoa Observer that Samoa Tag Incorp. targeted 50 clubs to be part of the tournament with 16-17 teams to be foreign-based.
“Each year we’re looking to build and make the sport grow but it comes with promoting Samoa Tag, promoting sport but also the sports tourism that comes in here.”
Over a thousand athletes are expected to play over the three day tournament, which he said would be a great achievement for the code as it is still a new sport.
“This is the second year and our second international tournament," he added.
In the lead up to these major tag competitions, Samoa Tag will strive to run at least four tournaments in order to maintain the interest of players.
And although the target number of participating clubs wasn’t achieved, Faaofo’nuu is pleased that the word about Samoa Tag is getting out.
“We’ve got different walks of life coming into Samoa, different cultures as well with two Fiji clubs playing.
“American Samoa were supposed to be confirmed but last minute [withdrew] and then we had some Europe clubs as well but finances and timing of the season,” he said.
“In terms of the sport, we’re just happy that it’s growing and not only in the Pacific but around the world.
“So we had indication from clubs from Europe and Asia for next year, already confirmed their spots for next year.”
From the Teuila festival tag tournament, Samoa Tag Incorp. will be preparing over 10 clubs to play and support in American Samoa’s Moso’oi international tournament.