The Aute Pasifika Netball team is on their first trip to Samoa, to experience the game at the grassroots level.
Aute Pasifika coach Aiulu Aoina said she wanted her players to see the differences in facilities and acknowledge how the game is played within the community.
“I have decided to bring my girls here to see for themselves, how Samoa netball is compared to how we are back out there.
“We’re more fortunate than the players out here, where as we have more facilities and pathways whereas Samoa, they normally just start with the village teams or church teams,” she said.
Yesterday was their first friendly game in Samoa with the Samoa Netball team at the National University of Samoa’s Gymnasium.
Mrs. Aoina said this is her team’s first time in Samoa and Samoa College Netball’s trip last year to New Zealand was also an inspiration for them to visit Samoa.
“It’s our way back home to keep our Samoan girls together, and to try and allow them that pathway because they’re not making it in the Australian teams, the other option is to come and play for Samoa,” she added.
The Aute Pasifika Netball team was formed six years ago and it started with one team with up-and-coming players that live in Sydney.
It was originally formed by Coach Aiulu Aoina to build the confidence for Samoan girls back in Sydney and it has grown over the years.
Aute Pasifika built up more than one team in Australia, as it outgrew itself and it is now known by Australians as one of the best netball teams, having won the Oceania Cup in Australia.
This week, they brought over three teams with them, all of the players are Samoans based in Sydney.
“It’s been my passion to grow our girls in the game of netball back home, which is why I and my other daughters coach so it was basically a mother and daughter thing, but then it outgrew itself,” Coach Aoina said.
Their last game in Samoa is this Friday and they return to Sydney, Australia January 19.