Beach Road in Apia came alive yesterday with colour and vibrancy when hundreds of rugby players and officials – from Samoa and abroad – marched through on their way to the Government building.
There was singing, dancing and lots of waving with the Police Brass Band leading the way on a beautiful day.
The occasion was the official parade to kick off the 30th Vailima Pure Marist International Sevens tournament.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi launched the tournament while the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, blew out the candles on the birthday cake, marking the 30th anniversary of the tournament.
The history of the Marist Sevens is well known. Over the years, the tournament has attracted some of the biggest rugby names from all over the world and has been a breeding ground for international stars – many of them have played for Manu Samoa.
Tuilaepa, who is a staunch Marist, congratulated is well aware of the importance of the tournament for Samoa.
As the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, he congratulated the Executive of the Marist Sports Club for their perseverance in keeping the tournament alive.
The Prime Minister noted that holding such a tournament is not easy and that it comes with many challenges.
One obvious one is finance.
But the organisers have looked past this and they have continued the legacy of providing an avenue for rugby players to express and showcase their talents.
Tuilaepa also noted that the organisers have persevered despite the setbacks brought by Cyclone Gita. One of the challenges involves relocating the tournament from Apia Park to the Marist Sports fields where the two-day competition kicks off this morning.
Tuilaepa welcomed all the teams who are taking part in this weekend’s competition.
The Prime Minister was joined by his other Cabinet Ministers in congratulating Marist and wishing them all the best for the tournament this year.