Ava ceremony marks Vailima Marist International Sevens

A traditional Samoan ava ceremony was held in Apia yesterday to signal the start of the Vailima Marist International Sevens official programme.

Tournament officials and Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club executives were joined by Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) representatives, members of the diplomatic community, sponsors and players at the intricate ceremony held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel. 

The SRU-sanctioned tournament has attracted 24 men’s and seven women’s teams from Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand. Talent on show during the tournament includes Fijian playmaker Nacanieli Batina. 

The XXXI Vailima Marist Sevens tournament will be held February 15-16 at the ACP Stadium, Lotopa. And in a first for the 31-year-old tournament, the winners will be awarded a trophy named after a Marist legend, the late Tupua Fred Wetzell.

Photos: Misiona Simo and Aufa’i Areta Areta

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