Fourth Fast 5 tournament to kick off
The Netball Samoa will be hosting the fourth Fast 5 tournament on Monday at the Netball Multipurpose Gymnasium, Tuanaimato.
They have already hosted three FAST 5 tournaments and their fourth will kick off on Monday as they continue the tasks of identifying netball talent while promoting the code.
Netball Samoa executive Tusi Faasootau-Ale said there is an increasing demand for a follow-up tournament following their hosting of the first three while emphasising that it is a modified version of the game.
"The Fast 5 tournament is a great initiative driven by Netball Samoa in which we are engaging with social mixed teams," she said.
"Fast 5 is a faster, fun, and modified version of Netball and it’s the first year that it is being held as a tournament in Samoa.
"So far we have had three Fast 5 tournaments this year and because of the huge demand for another one, we are on the fourth tournament next week."
The tournament is a competition for mixed teams (both males and females) and so far eight teams have signed up, according to Faasootau-Ale.
"We have 8 teams that have signed up and the encouraging thing is that it is a mix of old and new teams who have shown their interest to play Fast 5.
"It starts on Monday the 8th March and is a 4-day tournament (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri)."
Faasootau-Ale said the tournament will also serve a pre-season training for players who will take part in the national netball league and assist building the competencies of new and experienced players.
"It also provides a place to socialize, have fun and get fit! The exciting thing about this tournament is that it has attracted a huge array of teams," she said.
"One example would be the new Fast 5 ‘Team Malua', who first joined the Mafutaga Tina EFKS tournament through their mothers, some of the fathers who had come out to support thought it would be a great initiative to form a mixed team.
"And it would be a good experience for the Ministers and team members to get physically active and socialize."
And while there are challenges that come with a great initiative, there is nothing that Netball Samoa can't handle as they aim to create a healthy environment for both men and women.
"One challenge is that people’s mind-sets with late games and availabilities limit the time-frame in which we can hold these tournaments. This tournament is a mixed tournament," added Faasootau-Ale.
"The objectives of the Fast Five are to create a healthy physical environment, to promote the growth and development of Netball in Samoa."
The Fast 5 tournament will also have a collaborative partnership through the ‘Enhance Your Game Programme’, which looks at opportunities to support youth who are looking at avenues to upskill and develop their abilities through youth mentoring, coaching and umpire workshops.
Netball Samoa CEO Rosemarie Lome indicated that this will be done in partnership with not-for-profit group Brown Girl Woke.
“This programme hopes to focus on ways to support youth from the ages of 18 – 22 years who are looking for different opportunities and avenues," she said.
"We have different mentoring, and coaching workshops between our partner Brown Girl Woke and Netball Samoa that could teach these youth additional skills and future opportunities and by combining and partnering together we are building a strong support system.
"In partnering with Brown Girl Woke they will be able to work collaboratively to reach a wide spectrum of young youth and offer their mentoring and coaching programmes."
Brown Girl Woke founder, Maluseu Doris Tulifau, said they are happy to be working in partnership with Samoa Netball in their strive to create safe spaces for young people.
“The added value of partnering with Samoa Netball is having mentors who have done this work again for decades," she said.
"We are a newly established organisation empowering youth vocally, and Samoa Netball has been doing it for years so we are happy to be in partnership with them to learn more and to make safe spaces for our youth."
Both Samoa Netball and Brown Girl Woke are planning to spearhead the programme in Savaii shortly.