Program Leaves Lasting Impact


In a bid to enrich Samoan sporting capacity, the ADF Pacific Sports Program has successfully delivered level one and two coaching and referee accreditations in touch football, rugby league and basketball, alongside comprehensive first-aid and medical training from March 18 to 23.

The program’s culmination included newly trained coaches and referees participating in local tournaments, putting their new skills into action.

Rugby league coaching and referee instructors contributed to the nine-a-side grand final on March 22.

Touch football enthusiasts, meanwhile, donned referee attire at Samoa’s Premier League event ‘Touch the Stone’, while basketball course participants supported the U15 Oceania Cup squad as referees and coaches on March 23.

Leading Aircraftwoman Amanda Crowley, one of the touch football instructors, said course participants were really excited leading up to the touch football tournament.

“It was so rewarding seeing them on the field as coaches and referees, all doing an amazing job,” she said.

“In Samoa, the kids are pretty much born with some sort of ball in the hand, whether it’s rugby league, touch football or basketball. It really is part of their culture.”

Eighteen-year-old Kajrie Tauiliili, from Lotopa, said being able to put skills into action as part of supporting the Oceania Cup squad was exciting.

“Once I got into it, I was good. I was a little nervous at first but, as long as you’ve got that passion and willingness to do it, it just gets easier,” she said.

Miss Tauiliili emphasised the transformative power of sports in Samoa, where financial constraints often limit other opportunities for young people.

“The equipment we were given by the ADF will help us so much because we don’t always have the money and the resources, so getting that extra help is really going to get us rolling,” she said.

“These programs are so beneficial because we’re such a small country and we’re still growing, so it’s great to get some outside help.”

Captain Matthew Mitchell, one of the training instructors for touch football, said the team delivered level one coaching and referring courses, which are crucial to the delivery of the game.

“We have been able to increase knowledge and awareness of touch football in Samoa, it’s a great thing being able to provide an accreditation that supports the development of the sport,” Captain Mitchell said.

“The participants have come with such great enthusiasm, everyone has a smile and the engagements have been fantastic.

“Hopefully the program continues to grow, participants’ experience continues to grow and Samoa becomes even more competitive, as well as just more participation in Samoa.”

The initiative is part of the Australian Government’s Pacific Step-up program, which aims to strengthen and foster relationships and build sport capacity within the Pacific.

As part of the delivery of the program, the ADF partnered with the National Rugby League, Federation International Basketball Association, International Federation of Touch Football and Sports Medicine Australia.

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