The Wellington Samoan Rugby Union (WSRU) was founded on the belief structure of promoting rugby in the Wellington region for Samoans and other groups. The WSRU has created a platform for young Pacific Islanders to extend not only their athletic skills, but also open doors to future endeavours and grow personal confidence as members of their community.
Being a part of a team is a rewarding investment; not only for individuals, but also the team as a whole. From grass roots to an elite athlete, as Kiwis we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to harvest these team opportunities in many New Zealand sporting arenas. It was only last week we were witnessing massive accomplishments by our athletes at the Olympics!
For the youth of today, team sport can have the ability to shape who you are, offering a solid foundation to grow as individuals, thus appreciating and further developing the many different perspectives and personalities that make up a team.
It is due to the time and effort of passionate individuals who not only love the game, but who are also enthusiastic about creating opportunities for local “grassroots” players. Providing these players with the ability to connect with and play against their sporting peers outside their local region.
Fundraising events of the like contribute to the financial requirements needed to be able to achieve this goal.
An overhaul of the union in 2012 established working systems and structures and developing relationships with other rugby unions outside Wellington. In addition several fundraising initiatives were planned to further expand the opportunities available to the Wellington Samoan Rugby Union.
We were privileged to be invited to the Wellington Samoa Rugby Union’s first season fundraiser on July 1st. It was a night of gourmet food and drinks, with the Laughing Samoan Tofiga Fepulea’i, coupled with a star-studded line up of former and current All Blacks – Jerome Kaino, Victor Vito, Tana Umaga (current Blues Head Coach), Namulauulu Alama Ieremia (current Manu Samoa Head Coach) and Chris Boyd (current Hurricanes Coach), as well as many other prominent contributors and supporters of Wellington Rugby.
Attendees enjoyed hearing stories and receiving answers to questions from famous sporting personas, such as Tana Umaga and Jerome Kaino. The audience were treated to question and answer sessions with their famous guests, and hearing stories from New Zealand’s sporting elite.
Fundraisers such as this would not be possible without the support of sponsors but also the many inspiring attendees.
Chairman Tunumafono stated that raising funds is crucial for the development of the union and its players. “The fundraising dinner is part of the ongoing development and growth of the game.”
The evening was engaging, humorous, informative and financially successful with the dinner raising over $10k. As the club do not receive outside funding, the money raised from the event will be used to fund the three representative teams – senior men and women, plus under 18s and their expenses this upcoming season.
Notable attendees included his Excellency High Commissioner of Samoa Leasi Tommy Scanlan, Samoa Rugby Union CEO Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i, Mayor of Porirua Nick Leggett, Samoa Capital Radio CEO Afamasaga Tealu Moresi.
It is a pleasure to contribute a small sponsorship to the WSRU, and help young Pacific Island players aspire to a bright future in sports.
If you are keen to check out these representative teams, please see the full games schedule for the WSRU below:
WELLINGTON SAMOAN MENS:
* August 27: v Wellington Maori, 1pm @ Porirua Park1
* September 3: v Hawkes Bay Samoans, 12pm @ Ngati Toa
* September 10: v Hawkes Bay Dev, 12.30pm @ Petone Rec1
* September 17: v Wellington Development, 2pm @ Petone Rec1
* September 24: v Manawatu Development, 1pm @ Central Energy Trust Arena (Palmerston North)
WELLINGTON SAMOAN WOMEN:
* August 27: v Wellington U18, 11am @ Porirua Park1
* September 3: v Wellington Pride Development, 10.30am @ Porirua Park2
* September 10: v Wellington Tongans, time and venue TBC
WELLINGTON SAMOAN U18:
* September 10: v Poverty Bay U18, time TBC @ Gisbourne
* September 17: v Wanganui U18, time TBC @ Levin
* September 24: v Wairarapa Bush U18, 2.30pm @ Porirua Park1
Fa’afetai lava, manuia lava le tapua’iga fa’apea feau ma galuega o le aso.