Samoa Touch marches on with support of ADF

Nov. 14, 2021 @ 0:00 UTC

Samoa Touch is collaborating with the Australian Defence Force to support the growth of Touch on the Pacific Island

Samoa Touch and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are combining to deliver a virtual training program in Samoa from Wednesday 17 November to Friday 19 November 2021. 

In support of the Australian Government’s Team Up initiative, the Pacific Sports Program will help build participants and organisations’ capacity through leadership activities, training, coaching and referee’s accreditation courses. Other sports involved in the Team Up program include rugby league and netball.  

“The program seeks to develop a workforce that will help Samoa Touch become a sustainable leader throughout the Pacific,” said Peter Topp, a director of the Federation of International Touch (FIT).

Players, coaches, and officials from Samoan communities will participate in practical and theoretical sessions covering coaching, nutrition, first aid, CPR and strength and conditioning. 

According to Peter Topp, FIT is excited about contributing to the partnership with ADF and Samoa Touch to expand its capability, self-sustainability and improve healthy lifestyle choices.

"FIT is aware of the positive influence sport can have on community cohesiveness and that it is a key outcome of the Pacific Sports Program. The target of the program is to develop people in leadership, diversity, safety and gender equality,” he said.

“This virtual accreditation of coaches and referees is one important step in growing the self-sufficiency of Touch in Samoa. The programs will focus on providing education and training that is safe, inclusive, accessible and expands healthy lifestyle choices of Samoans.”

Peter continued. “While the national team is often a key driver and foundation for the sport, this program expands the foundation to develop the sporting workforce necessary to grow participation in Samoa.”

International Engagement

The FIT Coaching and Referee Commission personnel will provide leadership and mentoring for the ADF and Samoan leaders to interact with the participants during the program and develop relationships through sport. The program will also allow ADF to scope out future opportunities in the Pacific, particularly virtual delivery and consolidate its already strong sporting relationships. 

Also, the program will build on existing relations with the Pacific Islands and other sports, communities, and officials to assist with future sports diplomacy activities in the region.

The benefit to the ADF

The program will consolidate sports relationships in Samoa as part of an expanded ADF sporting engagement in the Pacific under the Australian Government’s diplomacy package. 

Peter Topp said, “It’s intended that these programmes will complement existing engagements as well as provide enhanced sporting initiatives, to reinforce the culture and history we share with our Pacific neighbours. 

He continued, “These initiatives complement the “Team Up” objectives given they are multi-code development program that includes Touch, Netball and Rugby League. 

“Moreover, continued engagement programs send a positive message that these are not one-off initiatives and build regional sports capabilities, as Touch, along with the other two sports are rapidly growing in popularity in Samoa.”