Manu Samoa Sevens are in the final stages of preparations for the Oceania 7s Championships in November later this year.
As a part of this preparation, Head Coach, Muliagatele Brian Lima, Management and the wider squad of close to 30 players retreated to a 3-day boot camp at Return to Paradise Resort earlier this month.
“We are grateful for the support from Return to Paradise Resort Managing Director and staff, as well as the supportive local businesses that make it possible for us to hold this boot camp for our players,” said Manu Samoa 7s Manager, Tuala Leaega Pat Leota.
“Return to Paradise Resort provides a great place for us to refocus and prepare.”
“We have had previous camps at the Resort over the years for team building during the off season, and we’ve always believed it contributes so much to the team preparations.. we’re grateful for the 100% excellent service the team always provides us.”
The Manu Samoa Team Manager also acknowledged the generous support offered by local business and corporate clients such as Rowlen Financial Services, Samoa Commercial Bank, SMI Hardware, Western Union, Federal Pacific Insurance, Transam Samoa, CCK Trading Ltd and Pacific Aluminium.
These local companies come together to support Return to Paradise Resort in hosting the Manu Samoa 7s boot camp each year.
Samoa’s national squad are currently in preparations for the upcoming Oceania 7s Tournament held in Brisbane, Australia from 10 – 12 November 2023.
This will also be an Olympic qualifying event for the Oceania region and Samoa hopes to secure a place at that tournament.
Manu Samoa 7s Head Coach Muliagatele Brian Lima says Samoa Sevens Rugby has never qualified for the Olympic games, and that is the main focus of the teams preparations.
“Our aim is to achieve this milestone and make history for our beautiful Samoa,” said Muliagatele.
“The sole focus of the boot camp is to subject the players to intense training while also building team spirit and setting the foundation for the Manu Samoa 7s Team Culture as we move forward into this new season,” added Muliagatele.
Return to Paradise Resort General Manager Afamasaga Ramona Su’a Pale Gilchrist said the highlight was this year’s boot camp was when the Manu Samoa 7s boys participated in the Saturday night Maeva Concert.
“They performed their spirited Siva Tau that thrilled the in-house guests and visitors and everyone that attended. It is definitely a night to remember,” said Afamasaga.
Speaking to the Manu Samoa Sevens boys Afamasaga said the team have become like family to them.
“The whole Return to Paradise family give you all our support and will be there with you throughout your journey towards the Oceania 7s Tournament and beyond..
“We know that Lakapi Samoa is struggling for funds in the aftermath of Covid-19, and I can confirm our full-time support for the boys however way we can.”
Afamasaga said with the effects of the global pandemic also hitting the hotel industry hard, and the hosting of the Manu Samoa 7s for their annual boot camp is only possible through the unwavering support of the business community and partners earlier acknowledged by the Team Manager.
“Our corporate clients make it possible for Return to Paradise to host this on an annual basis for the Manu Samoa 7s..”
“We simply could not afford to do this on our own,” says Afamasaga Ramona.
Tuala Pat Leota adds, “We are always thankful for the tremendous help and support from the Business Community who always respond when we reach out to them.”
“It really boosts our team morale and gives the players confidence to achieve our mission and objective knowing the group of friends and supporters of the Resort always manage to come through and help the Resort to fund our boot camp,” says Team Manager Tuala Pat Leota.
With the help of these great companies, we were able to hold the camp at no cost to the Team. Therefore on behalf of Lakapi Samoa, we are beyond grateful for the love and support shown to Manu Samoa 7s Management and Team and of course to Return to Paradise Resort General Manager and Team for the hospitality and 5-star service during this 3-day boot camp,” says Tuala.
Return to Paradise hosts high profile sports teams and has been the Resort of choice for Toa Samoa for many years. The resort provides team rooms, ice baths, spa pools, massage services, training video services and healthy menus specially designed for high performaning athletes.
Return to Paradise was also chosen as the destination for the Toa Samoa camp during their post World Cup visit to Samoa earlier this year.
At the end of the 3-day boot camp, Head Coach Muliagatele, Management and team presented Afamasaga Ramona a signed official playing Manu Samoa 7s jersey as a token of appreciation for all the support provided.
“The staff and I are honored to receive a signed jersey from the team. We wish them all the best as they represent our nation, and their extended families. We will display the team’s signed jersey in our reception area, and when the boys visit with their families and friends, they will be able to show their signed names on this jersey with pride,” said Afamasaga.