Sevens legend touches down, Marist Sports Week in full flight

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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GUEST OF HONOUR: Vala Uale Ma’i flanked by Marist officials, Laulu Henry Taefu and Fata Brian Kaio.

GUEST OF HONOUR: Vala Uale Ma’i flanked by Marist officials, Laulu Henry Taefu and Fata Brian Kaio. (Photo: Marist Sports Club)

Sevens rugby legend, Vala Uale Ma’i, touched down in Samoa yesterday. 

The former Manu Samoa Sevens and Manu Samoa 15 star is the 30th International Marist Sevens Guest of Honour.

He is among a host of overseas-based athletes who have arrived in the country not just for the Sevens tournament this weekend but also other activities planned as part of the Marist Sports Festival.

This morning, the touch rugby tournament kicks off at the Soccer fields at Tuanaimato.

The finals are scheduled for tomorrow.

This afternoon, the Netball finals, postponed from the weekend due to Cyclone Gita, will be held at Gym 3 Tuana’imato. 

Officials will then be invited to the Ava o Feiloaiga (welcoming ava ceremony) at the ACP Compound, Vaitele, at 6pm.

The Fight For Marist will go ahead as planned tomorrow, Wednesday night at Gym 1, Tuanaimato. The tournament will feature Samoa-based and overseas-based boxers including Samoan/Polish boxer, Ato Leau Faoagali.

Based in Sydney Australia, Faoagali represented Samoa at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas and is looking to also represent Samoa in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in April.

TOUCH RUGBY: Wellington Samoa Open Mixed Touch Team.
TOUCH RUGBY: Wellington Samoa Open Mixed Touch Team.
SUNDAY MASS: Athletes and officials at the Sunday mass.
SUNDAY MASS: Athletes and officials at the Sunday mass.
WELCOME TO SAMOA: The NSW Samoa Rugby Union Sevens team here for the tournament this weekend.
WELCOME TO SAMOA: The NSW Samoa Rugby Union Sevens team here for the tournament this weekend.

A parade is scheduled for Thursday morning on Beach Road.

On Friday, the Sevens tournament kicks off at Marist Lotopa. There are teams from New Zealand, Australia, China and from other countries taking part. 

The Golf and Rugby league tournaments have been postponed until 24 February 2018.

But the main attraction will be the Marist Sevens this weekend.

As the Guest of Honour, Vala is no stranger to Samoa.

His international career was launched at the Marist grounds Lotopā.

He is the first from Samoa to win IRB Sevens Player of the Year 2005/2006, and still Samoa’s top points scorer on the World Rugby Sevens Series despite retiring in 2013. 

For more information on the Marist Sports Week, visit their Facebook page.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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