The Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club officially launched the XXXII Vailima International Sevens Competition last Friday at the club’s ACP Stadium in Lotopa.
Prime Minister and MSJ Club Patron Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi delivered the keynote address to once again launch the rugby sevens competition which has set the platform for many young rugby players to be exposed to the international stage and be seen by national selectors over the years.
Vailima Breweries have come back on board this year to secure naming rights sponsorship to the tune of $60,000 tala for the Marist 7s scheduled for 14-15 February 2020.
Samoa Breweries General Manager Brent Adams said, “This a really good opportunity for us to share our successes as we go along with the Marist St Joseph Sports Club. We are very proud of the work and achievements of the Marist 7s tournament;
“We continue this partnership for the development of sports in Samoa.”
Apia Concrete Products and the Wetzell family continue its loyal sponsorship of the annual event. This year Apia Concrete Products as one of the major sponsors will be donating the main Cup – Tupua Fred Wetzell Cup for the Men’s Tournament as well as the runners up Shield – now named the Cynthia Wetzell Shield.
In view of the tournament’s contribution to socio-economic development through sports, International Development Partners have stepped up to support the Marist 7s in recent years. UNDP and the Australian High Commission have both confirmed support for this years’ tournament.
Other sponsors include Samoa Airways offering special fares for international teams and Schwartz Construction who are also supporters of grassroots rugby through the Super 9.
The competition expands each year and last year saw the Vailima Marist 7s set many historical firsts when teams from Lefaga, Satalo and Salelologa all made it to the cup competition after pool rounds.
There were 6 men’s teams and 1 women’s team from Savaii, and Salelologa made it all the way to the finals.
The women’s competition has also expanded in the past 3 years with increased interest being shown by overseas teams.
The sports club honors past and present members during the annual event and this year, Savali Journalist Peseta Tusiga Peseta has been included in the honors roll.
MSJ Sports Club President Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio said, “He is an active Marist man who doesn’t let his disabilities get in the way of his drive to make a difference to the community; Peseta resonates one of Marist’ key pillars, which is to serve and not to be served”.
This year’s official tournament shirt can be purchased from Tanoa in Apia.