Four New Zealand Rugby officials, eleven New Zealand Touch officials, and retired international rugby sevens star, Uale Mai, will be in-country next week.
They are lending their skills and expertise to the second annual Marist International Sports Week — thanks to a $30,000 partnership with the New Zealand High Commission in Samoa.
New Zealand and Samoa share strong sporting links, with myriad of sportsmen and women of Samoan heritage representing New Zealand on the international stage.
“This is a great opportunity for New Zealand to contribute to the development and promotion of sports at a local level,” said New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, David Nicholson.
“Our support really focuses on having high quality officials at the tournament for the benefit of the players, the spectators, and for those responsible for the administration of the various codes being played across the week.
“We are also pleased to see the week incorporate a broad sports programme with a high proportion of female sports people,” he said.
As well as rugby sevens and touch rugby, the sports week schedule includes netball, boxing and golf tournaments, with teams representing Samoa, New Zealand, Australia and China in the various codes. Running alongside the competition programming will be skills development modules for referees and coaches.
This year is also the 30th anniversary of the Vailima Pure Marist International Rugby Sevens; Samoa’s premiere rugby fixture and the grand finale event of the sports week programme.
To mark this milestone, Uale Mai — the first Samoan to be awarded the IRB Sevens Player of the Year, in 2005–06, and long-time Manu Samoa and Samoa Sevens cap — has been invited as Guest of Honour.
“We want to celebrate the pioneers of our club, as well as those Marist players — past and present — who have gone on to enjoy successful careers in sport, like Uale,” said Faimalo Mathew Lemisio, the President of the Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club.
“Our ethos at Marist has always been about service and leadership through sports, and the sports week programme, and in particular, the International Rugby Sevens, is the perfect platform to showcase this.
“Marist is grateful to have New Zealand’s support for the delivery of this year’s high-quality programme and events.”