A case of Sevens Heaven when the world’s best young players descend on Ōtāhuhu in December is already being celebrated by the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board.
Acting board chair Harry Fatu Toleafoa says the global exposure the tournament will bring will showcase the area to the world.
The Global Youth Sevens event will be played at Kings College from December 15 to 17 and feature the best secondary school players from across the world.
Toelafoa says the event was previously the World School Sevens, an under 18 male and female tournament that has grown significantly since its inception in 2016.
“Last year there were 45 sides from 17 international teams. This year will surpass that, 32 teams in both sections, more than 1300 players from NZ, Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Canada, Japan, Zimbabwe, France, USA, Malaysia and more still to be confirmed.
“More than 30 players from the last six tournaments have gone on to higher honours, including 15 contracted across the New Zealand and Australian Sevens teams.
“It is going to be a big thing for our area, one we welcome because of our commitment to having quality events that our people can witness.
“We like to think that our area makes a major contribution to the city’s overall sporting landscape, and we expect this one to attract a lot of people, with the benefits that can bring to an area.”
Endorsed by NZ and Australian Rugby, the event is seen as a critical pathway for the national sevens programme for both boys and girls.
Toleafoa says participants will see the best the area has to offer.
“This is much more than a weekend tournament. It is also focused on ‘giving back’ to the community. It’s about uniting teams, expressing culture, developing character and building friendships for life.
“The build-up week activities include a cultural night that will be an opportunity for many teams to display and express their cultures to the other teams gathered. The pōwhiri and official welcome will showcase our unique Māori culture, supported by local Iwi, and a community day will bring everyone alongside local community organisations to support existing their work.”
Want to stay up to date with all the latest news from your area? Sign up for our Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board e-newsletter and get it delivered to your inbox each month.