The inaugural Teuila Tag Tournament is set to be held on 6-7 September, 2018 at Apia Park Stadium.
Teams participating are from Samoa, New Zealand and Australia. This will include Open Women’s, Open Men’s, Open Mixed and Golden Oldies Men’s (40+) categories.
A statement from Samoa Tag Inc. said they are holding this event in Samoa to fully establish the sport under its new sanction from S.A.S.N.O.C.
They want to showcase our beautiful country and invite international competition to play against our local talent. They hope to continue this tournament as an annual event.
The main goal of Samoa Tag Incorporated established in 2017, is to establish tag as one of the predominant sports in Samoa, through tournaments, modules and skills sessions in schools. By promoting the sport and encouraging players of all ages, we are hoping to promote a healthy and fun environment where players can learn new skills whilst getting some exercise and leading to a healthier lifestyle, the statement said.
“On Thursday, 22 February 2018, Samoa Tag Incorporated was officially endorsed by Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.), as the National Samoa Sports Body for Tag. Therefore, they also aim to establish a National team with talent sourced from Samoa as well as Samoan nationals living overseas to represent their country.”
“They are also excited to announce that Hon. Loau Keneti Sio, Minister of Sports, Education and Culture, has accepted the role of Patron of honour for Samoa Tag Incorporated. Loau is a huge supporter of growing this sport in Samoa, as he can see the benefits it will have to developing sporting talent, community fitness and local economy.”
According to the statement, Tag tournaments have been held in N.Z. and Australia for many years and have been extremely popular and successful, however these usually involve non-sanctioned Island nations participating. By establishing Samoa’s own international tournament, they hope to pave the way for other sanctioned Island nations to participate.
“Sports events and tournaments have a huge impact socio-economic impact in Samoa and around the Pacific. And the Samoa Tag Committee hopes to utilise Tag to bring more of these opportunities to Samoa.”
“Through this tournament we aim to promote Samoa as a venue for future sporting opportunities as well as a beautiful tourist destination to our Tag teams and families. We want players to be able to experience Samoan hospitality first hand.”
“Through previous tournaments local players have already been scouted for Samoan national rugby teams and we hope that more opportunities for overseas contracts in Rugby & Rugby League will be available to our players in the future.”
For New Zealand and Australian players, this tournament offers a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents in their homeland in front of their Samoan based family. It is also a great opportunity for them to learn more about their Samoan culture and connect back to the islands, particularly for players who were not born in Samoa or who left at a young age, the statement added.
“We are extremely fortunate to have some amazing sponsors. Samoa Airways have offered amazing airfare deal for players travelling to Samoa in September. Taula Beer and Samoa Commercial Bank, continue to sponsor our local tournaments. Samoa Tourism Authority have also been very supportive of the Tournament, and are assisting us with arranging accommodation deals. One of the local accommodation providers, St Therese, has already offered special discount rates to all Teams and families travelling to Samoa for the Tournament.”
In preparation, three local tournaments have been organised for local teams, leading up to the international event in September. Interest in the tournaments is increasing each time with around 20 teams participating at the latest one held in May, at Marist Sports Grounds.
N.Z. and Australia will be organising local tournaments in the New Year under the umbrella of Samoa Tag Incorporated.
The sport of Tag was created over 20 years ago as a way of involving athletes of all ages and skill levels. The sport has evolved over time and is popular with family and work teams also participating.
Tag is great for increasing fitness levels in a non-contact environment and is a great off-season choice for rugby and league players.