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NZ RUBGY PLAYERS HIT GUAM

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By Robert Balajadia

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New Zealand pro rugby players (Left-right) Mark Raddish, Tim Nanai-Williams, Paul Stennmetz, Liaki Moli. (GSPN photo)

Veteran’s Day on Guam also meant the coming of four professional New Zealand Rugby Unions Players in association with Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme.

Liaki Moli, Tim Nanai-Williams, Mark Reddsih and Paul Stenmetz along with New Zealand Police officials Samasoni Malaulau and Kim Bloomfield and Australian Federal Police’s Rodney Walker all gathered at the Governor’s House Monday morning for a warm welcome from First Lady Christine Calvo and some of Guam’s best male and female rugby players.

The men will be hosting clinics for the men and women’s national team, middle school, high school and adults during their week-long stay.

Reddish gave insight on what the team will be looking to teach in the clinics saying, “We want to find out what the guys want to learn. We want to help them out with skill and also get more technical and help them learn some of the bigger stuff.”

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First Lady Christine Calvo presents the visitors with flower lei. (GSPN photo)

Though the overall message is anti-violence, rugby is a physical sport and can get violent. The message that Reddish and the guys are trying to spread in regards to anti-violence is simple.

“Rugby is a game with rules and you have to play inside those rules and if you break those rules there are consequences. It’s the same with life, you want to play inside the rules. We believe domestic violence is wrong and we want to show that you can be violent on the field, but what happens on the field stays on the field. Once you step off the field, you become a normal person,” stated Reddish.

The ceremony began with a meet-and-greet with a small group and a few words from Malaulau and Guam’s own Police Department in compliance with the prevention of domestic violence theme.

“We’ve been working with the New Zealand police on a collaborative effort to stop domestic violence in our communities,” said Guam Police Col. Maurice Sayama. “Having these professional athletes come to Guam gives our community another voice to hear, not just from our police. At the same time, we are promoting an ever-growing sport on our island with some world-class athletes.”

The morning concluded with a lunch that had before the team would host their first clinic of the week.

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New Zealand Police’s Samasoni Malaulau gives a few words to the crowd in the opening ceremony. (GSPN photo)

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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