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Savaii dominates Just Play Tournament.

District teams from Savaii and Upolu had been invited to participate in a tournament, which was organised by the Football Federation Samoa (FFS).
The competition had been divided into Under 12 and Under 15 Age groups for Boys and Girls. Teams from Savaii than went on to dominate the two-day Tournament winning 3 out of 4 age groups, which close to 1000 children participated in.
Both Itu O Tane 1 and 2 districts dominated the Girls and Boys under 12 categories after their representative teams both faced off in the finals. Itu O Tane 1 ended up winning a close final against Itu O Tane 2 in the Girls Under 12. While the Boys under12 category was won by Itu O Tane 2 over Itu O Tane 1.
The Final of the Girls Under 15 was the only true Inter Island affair with Falelatai District going up against Itu O Tane 1. The day before the final Itu O Tane 1 had defeated Falelatai 3-1 in pool play and were looking to repeating this feat. Despite Tiu O Tane 1 twice taking the lead, Falelatai kept coming back forcing the game to be decided by a Penalty Shoot Out. It was than that Falelatai managed to win the close encounter.
The last and final match of the tournament saw Faasaleleaga 1 take on Itu O Tane 2 in the Boys Under 15 Final. With the scores deadlocked at 1-1 with only minutes remaining, another Penalty Shoot Out looked to be on the cards. However a last minute goal by Faasaleleaga 1 secured the title much to the delight of their supporters and Fans.
After the finals Tausala T Manase President of the Itu O Tane Districts expressed how happy she was with the tournament; “ This has been really a great tournament. We have come all the way from Savaii and we have really enjoyed it as well as taking part in the Tournament”.
Manase also added that she was delighted with the performance of her teams “I was very proud of the way kids performed in the tournament. They have done really well, also all of us from Savaii wanted to make sure that we bring the trophies back to Savaii”.
Three districts represented Savaii in the tournament. They were Itu O Tane 1 and 2 as well as two boys teams from Faasaleleaga 1. Taking part from Upolu was the Falelatai District represented by Mulifanua Community and Lepea Community, which represented the Faleata District. Participating as well was the FFS Fun Football team, which is made from children that train every Saturday at the FFS grounds during the Fun Football program.
FFS Acting CEO Sarai Bareman also thanked all the teams for participating; “It has been great to have so many children participate and I want to thank all the teams and supporters who participated to make this tournament a success”.
Bareman also added; ”We hope that through football young girls and boys will learn more about the game, which hopefully will also help them in the long run with their education”.
The ‘Just Play’ program is a unique grassroots program, which promotes physical activity for primary-aged children while encouraging community involvement and healthy living. It was launched in Apia last year and has been introduced into 69 primary schools and 25 communities round Samoa with approximately 17,000 children participating in the program.

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