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Pago Pago Samoa Stake holds soccer tournament

For two Wednesdays now more than 150 youths and primary aged children have been competing in the small-sided game of 5 vs. 5 at Pago Park Soccer Stadium.
“The leaders of our stake — President Johnny Mapu and 1st Councilor Petita Fanene — as well as the parents were extremely happy after seeing how the first day of the program went,” said the stake’s 2nd Councilor, Maselino Tautu.
“The most important thing was that the kids all had fun, from the primary to the youth and the coaches and parents,” Tautu continued. “We were very impressed because of the great facilities that accommodate everything and everybody as well as the fact that there were no teams or children having to wait around for a field to be available so that they can play.
“All the teams played at the same time and you could see in their faces how much fun they were having.”
Tautu, as 2nd councilor has the primary and youth as one of his charges, is no stranger to soccer. He was a member of the Normalization Committee set up by FIFA from 2006-2008.
Prior to that he was with the Department of Education’s Athletics Department, organizing all sports for the elementary and high schools and one of those included soccer.
Thus he was no stranger to FFAS when he approached CEO Tavita Taumua about using the association’s field and referee’s to help with their summer program.
“We are always available to help out with any organization’s plans to run a soccer competition, whether it be a private or church group and we have helped with catholic and CCCAS churches on a yearly basis,” Taumua said. “So we were happy to help out the Mormon Church as well.”
FFAS President Iuli Alex Godinet welcomed the opportunity to provide the resources to help out.
“We all know the summer time is a time to organize activities for the youth because school is out,” Iuli said. “We our selves have our own Summer Youth League coming up but it is great as well to help another organization such as the Pago Pago Samoa Stake with their summer program.”
Tautu explained that normally every year they organize a different sport as their summer sporting activity.
“We usually have either basketball or volleyball every summer for the youth of our Stake (Faga’alu to Onenoa and Aunu’u) every year but after much discussion this year we decided to make a change,” Tautu explained.
“We have the facilities for these games, volleyball and basketball, but we decided to look at other options,” Tautu said. “So we turned to soccer because we knew they had the facilities and how great it all turned out was unexpected.”
The congregations involved in this program are: Tulao 1st Ward, Tulao 2nd Ward, Auto, Aua 1st Ward, Aua 2nd Ward, Pago Pago 1st Ward, Pago Pago 2nd Ward, Pago Pago 3rd Ward, Vatia, Aunu’u Branch, Afono Branch and Aua 3rd.

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