Rotuma Hosts Hanua Sevens And Netball Competition

The Rotuma Sports tournament, the Hanua Sports tournament was successfully hosted at the Rotuma High School Grounds on Thursday, April 27. The tournament involved rugby 7s a-side and netball. The
22 May 2017 14:20
Rotuma Hosts Hanua Sevens And Netball Competition

The Rotuma Sports tournament, the Hanua Sports tournament was successfully hosted at the Rotuma High School Grounds on Thursday, April 27. The tournament involved rugby 7s a-side and netball. The tournament attracted more than 300 people who witnessed a tournament of this caliber after a long time. The tournament was an outcome of the Fiji National Sports Commission conducting a sports outreach and Train the Trainer programme on the island in October of 2016. Part of the programme outcome was for participants to organise competition nof this sort as part of their workplace assessment as part of their workplace assessment. The Rotuma Youth Council through the youth networks and the support of the District Officer Rotuma’s office the youths managed to put together a very successful programme much to the delight of the islanders.


A three-member team comprising of Fiji National Sports Commission sports development manager, Joji Liga, Fiji Rugby Referees Joeli Qio, and Takeo Savou made up the delegation from Fiji who went to Rotuma to assist and witness this community program on the island

The tournament was organised as part of “Organising a Community Event”, Module 3 of OSEP’s Sports In Community Administration Course. It involved forming sub-committees to organise the event. The sub-committees included; a Games Committee, Finance, Promotions and Marketing, Volunteers Committee, Venue Committee.

The committees were given responsibilities to organise their specific areas of responsibility. Regular meetings took place in the lead up to the tournament to assess progress. A total of six ruby teams and five netball teams were registered to compete. Four district rugby teams and 2 service teams made up the rugby tournament while four district and one service team made-up the netball tournament. The rugby teams included, Faguta (comprising of Pepjei and Juju Districts), Malha’a, Motusa, Service I, Service II and Noatau. The netball teams registered were; Service, Noatau, Malha’a 1, Malha’a 2, Oinafa. A registration fee of $50 was charged for each participating team. The Finance, Promotions and Marketing Committee did superbly well to secure prizes for the tournament.

Organisers learnt how to promote an event to attract sponsors. They learnt how to work with stakeholders and develop good relationships. As a result of their efforts they managed to secure the following prizes.

Two rugby referees were flown in from Fiji to assist the four local referees in officiating at the rugby tournament. Refereeing has always been an issue on the island as the mind-set of not trusting local referees makes it difficult to organise competitions on the island. This was a mind-set we tried to change as we assisted the organisers by training local referees to be a referee or an assistant referee on the day. The two FRU referees ran a clinic for the local referees as soon as the team arrived. The interest displayed by the local referees was encouraging. Local referee David Michael Penjueli of Hapmak District displayed a spending performance assisting Joeli and Savou referee the games. He has potential to become the top referee in Rotuma given his outstanding performance during the tournament.

The other three locals were engaged as assistant referees  and performed exceptionally well.

Given the standards displayed, local referees will become experts in the field – it is only a matter of exposing them to more game time and constant competition.

Hapmak Referee Michael Penjueli was identified for further training in the area of refereeing and Referee Educator with World Rugby to coordinate the Referees Association on the island. After the tournament a meeting of the local referees led to the establishment of the Rotuma Rugby Referees Association. The Sports Commission is committed to developing local referees through training opportunities provided by Fiji Rugby and World Rugby.

Malha’a walked away with the 1st prize of $1000.00 by defeating Motusa in the final. It was an exciting final where exceptional skills and fitness levels were displayed by both sides much to the excitement of the crowd.

In the women’s category, Malha’a  1 defeated Service to walk away with the $300 prize-money.

The best player award in rugby went to Apimeleki Waininau of Malha’h Team,. Apimeleki is a Wainimakutu, Namosi,  native and vocational student at Rotuma High School.

His dazzling speed kept everyone on their feet as he scooped the highest points during the tournament.

In the netball category, Marylin of Service scopped up the best player award and $150 prize money. The Rotuma Youth Council acknowledges the support of the Fiji National Sports Commission towards this initiative and is adamant the event is here to stay given the support given by the Hanua during the tournament, the donors who donated prizes, the support of business houses and the local communities.

The Council is already planning to host the next one during the National Sports, Physical Activity and Wellness Public Holiday on June 30 and this promises to be bigger and better.

The sports tournament organized on the island is a product of the training conducted on the island by the Fiji National Sports Commission. The program focuses on empowering youths to be independent and prove that if they work together and have the elder and the hanua (vanua) supporting them, they can achieve great things. Sport has the power to unite communities.

The Hanua Tournament is a classic example of how youths could engage in a positive way to unite and build their communities through sport.

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