Vailima Savai'i 7s concludes
Rugby development in the big island of Savai'i continues to grow from strength to strength as the Vailima Savai'i 7s tournament comes to a close.
After three weeks of competition, there is no doubt that the tournament has contributed to the development of rugby in Samoa.
The President of the Fa'asaleleaga Rugby Union, Su'a Hesed Ieremia, told the Samoa Observer that the code is growing on the big island:
"Rugby development has always been on the rise in Savai'i.
"As we’ve seen time and time again the many talents that have come out of the developments from the big Island to carry the Samoan flag and do our country proud.
"It is a matter of continuing to improve every year the development of new talents and maintaining that consistency with the matured players."
In saying that, Su'a said that the tournament provides a platform to discover local talent and also gives the players the opportunity to further their skills in rugby.
"The significance of the Savai'i 7s and hosting such a tournament is providing that much-needed platform for our local players here in the big Island to continue improving their skills, and identifying new talents coming through each year.
"We also need more of such local competitions to further enhance all aspects of rugby and bring the best out of our players.
"A prime and classic example of this is the successful programme implemented by the Salelologa Rugby Club - with their Tama Uli Rugby 7s Team - who are the current National Rugby 7s Champions.
"Tama Uli has held this for the past three years, led by Head Coach Matamua Junior Salima.
"Matamua has been implementing rugby development in Savaii for 20 years, and has been the Coach for Tama Uli for almost 10 years, and have successfully taken this Club and these group of players to greater heights by becoming the National 7s Champions and continuing to do so, while having his developed players making it to the country’s National 7s team over the years until today.
"He has set new records as a Coach for the big Island, and certainly set the benchmark and a model for all other clubs to follow."
Furthermore, the tournament has also shines light on the skills and knowledge of local coaches who train and manage the teams who participated in the tournament.
However, there are some obstacles that need to be addressed moving forward, said Su'a.
"The challenge apart from availing our time to carry out this passion and duty to our youth, is maintaining that healthy culture with the expected level of consistency and concentration for players.
"There is always a need for players to provide the necessary commitment to rugby as a professional career, while upholding its core values.
"When these are done right, we can expect them to continue doing so when given the opportunity to represent our national teams as done by other successful rugby players from the big Island."
The finale of the Vailima 7s took place last week with Ott Constructor Tama Uli Black walking away with the main trophy and also came out as the overall winner of the tournament.
It was coordinated by the Fa'asaleleaga Rugby Union and was held in Savai'i.
The President wanted to express his gratitude to all the sponsors and participating Clubs from all around Savai'i.
"As President, I sincerely acknowledge all our Clubs in Faasaleleaga, and other participating Clubs from around Savaii, with the continuous support of the respective villages and communities," said Su'a.
"A special Faafetai Tele lava to the major sponsor, Vailima. As well as SSAB and Federal Pacific Insurance, and all those that made this year’s tournament a success.