Touch hold BBQs to fundraise for World Cup campaign
Samoa Touch Rugby Incorporated held fundraising barbecues outside SSAB Megastore and Top Taste Vailoa yesterday.
Members of the national team chipped in to work the two stations, with all the proceeds going towards getting Samoa Touch to the World Cup in Malaysia next May.
Samoa Touch Rugby Incorporated vice-president Alex Mikaele said these events are important because the costs to get to tournaments fall on the players.
“It’s also good for us as well to get out there, get some more exposure.
“We had people drop in and ask, what association is this for.
“Doing more community engagement means people will know Samoa Touch are preparing for the two main events next year.”
Those are the aforementioned World Cup and the Pacific Games hosted by Samoa in July.
“Every World Cup in any sport is the pinnacle event, so it’ll be the same for us,” said Mikaele.
“And there’s a lot more riding on this campaign because of the Pacific Games as well.
“Our expectation for the World Cup is to try and finish in the top three.
“In the Pacific Games we want medals for three divisions; men’s, women’s and mixed.”
At the last Games in 2015, Samoa Touch won silver, silver and gold across those divisions.
And at the previous World Cup in 2014, they finished 7th out of close to 40 teams.
The campaign for next year started immediately after those events.
“We’ve already started ramping up training,” Mikaele said.
“Today is more an off-field activity, bonding for the team.”
The majority of players in the current national team set-up are locally based.
“We have a few from New Zealand, players that came over to trial,” said Mikaele.
The team are looking at spending over a week in Malaysia for the World Cup.
“We’re planning to go two or three days earlier, to get all of Team Samoa together,” he said.
Open mixed and over 30s teams will join the local contingent from Australia.