Ava ceremony for overseas sevens teams
An Ava ceremony was held to officially welcome overseas teams playing in the 32nd Vailima Marist International Sevens 2020 tournament.
The ceremony was held at Marist Lotopa on Tuesday evening.
For this year’s tournament, a total of 16 men’s teams and eight women’s teams will be vying for this year’s cup.
The men’s teams comprise of three of which from overseas such as Fiji, American Samoa and New Zealand whereas women’s teams have only one overseas team from New Zealand which is the defending champions.
Tournament Director, Fata Brian Kaio said that a managers meeting will be held on Wednesday as part of the programme which will cover some of the games rules.
“We are very grateful to the overseas for accepting our invitations to participate in this year’s tournament,” he said.
He added that this is the first time they will have a women’s team which is Marist Angels.
“We are also expecting New Zealand referees provided by the New Zealand rugby union.
“Another important day before the main event is the United Nations and Marist Sports Club Day on Thursday which will focus on developing players in terms of choosing other careers paths.
The coach and player for the men’s team from Linwood Christchurch, New Zealand is very optimistic about their team’s performance this year.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Sam Limu Franklin said that there are 12 players and a backup in his team.
“A few of us have competed in various teams before but this will be our first tournament playing together as a team.
“Local teams and other overseas will expect a different style of footy but all teams have different ways of playing.
“We are prepared despite a lot of people are talking about the weather but it is inevitable and we will just have to play otherwise.”
He added that they have really got to perform and we want to be invited again for next year’s tournament.
The tournament will officially begin on Friday, February 14 and conclude on Saturday at the Marist field Lotopa.