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Summer Youth League 2018 Kicks off

A Tafuna Jets player (left) and Ilaoa & To’omata opponent in action  Players of the 7-9 mixed division in actionA Black Roses’ player dribbles against a Tafuna Jets’ opponenA Vaiala Tongan player of the Boys 10-12 division in action against Ilaoa & To’omataA Black Roses player (left) and Lion Heart opponent battle for possession A Vaiala Tongan player dribbles by an Utulei Youth defender

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — More than 800 children ages 4-15 participated in the opening day of the 2018 FFAS Summer Youth League at Pago Park Soccer Stadium on Tuesday, July 31. 

“It is wonderful to see our field full of children for our annual Summer Youth League,” said FFAS President Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet before the kickoff of the games. “This league is all about you and for you, so enjoy it as much as possible, and we plan on having great prizes again to close out our competition.”

There was an increase by four teams from last year’s participating numbers, with 66 being formed from 11 clubs this year. There are four age categories, 4-6 mixed, 7-9 mixed, 10-12 boys & girls and 13-15 boys & girls.

“Our league numbers have been growing steadily each year since 2006,” said FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua. “It has become one of our most anticipated activities each year, with our office being flooded by calls of when the competition will kickoff.”

He went on to say that it is usually held at the beginning of July, but because of the U-16 Men’s National team that competed in Tonga last month, the league was pushed to later in the summer.

There are 12 teams in the 4-6 group; 13 in the 7-9; 13 boys’ 10-12; 6 girls’ 10-12; 12 in the boys’ 13-15; and 10 in the girls’ 13-15 age groups.

A few  other members of the executive committee were on hand during the opening day — Vice-President and FIFA Council member Sandra Fruean, treasurer Amio Mavaega-Luvu and Silasila Samuelu, who opened the competition with a prayer before Faiivae made his comments.

The next competition days are Aug. 2, 4, 7, 9 and 11 for a total of six days.

As was done last year, school supplies such as backpacks, notebooks, pencils, etc., will be provided to all the non-competitive age group players already registered (4-6, 7-9 & 10-12), while the 13-15 teams will receive monetary prizes.

“It is great to see all the parents enjoy watching their kids play,” Faiivae said.  “It is also great to see all the players enjoy playing.”