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Thursday, October 23 2014 @ 01:27 PM ACDT

Schoolboys tournament kicks off in Samoa

OceaniaThe first round of the 2005 Samoan Australian Rules Football Association schoolboys tournament kicked off this week, pitting six of the island nation's secondary schools against each other.

The competition, which commenced on Wednesday, has this year grown and features Aana Junior Secondary College, Avele College, Faleata Secondary College, Leififi College, Leulumoega Fou College and Nuuausala College. The competition's popularity outside Apia district is evident, with four of this year's participating schools coming from the west of Upolu. Aana Junior Secondary College will be competing for the first time, whilst Leulumoega Fou will be looking to win their third consecutive title.

Last year's tournament saw 166 players participate from six schools. It is hoped that this season participation will increase to about 200 schoolboys and will increase further to 300 in future years. The SARFA Executive Committee views Australian Football as an excellent alternative sport for secondary school students, in that it helps to develop physical, mental, social and emotional skills. The 2005 schoolboy season will once again conclude with an international test match against a Tonga schoolboys squad later in the year. In 2004 Samoa defeated Tonga by 21 points.

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