Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Kilikiti held at home of Wellington Cricket

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Seinafolava Sanele Chadwick | Reporter/Director - Wellington

Wellington’s Basin Reserve hosts first ever Kilikiti match 

Former All Black Neemia Tialata has played rugby in some of the most famous stadiums in the world. 

But the chance to play Samoan cricket (kilikiti) at Wellington’s Basin Reserve is one dream he never thought would happen.

“To be doing it here at the Basin is going to be huge,” Tialata says.

“It’s something I’ll probably remember and be up there with some of the other sporting teams that I’ve been a part of. And to do it with these guys too is something special.” 

Tialata is part of the Valley Bears kilikiti team, one of four sides playing at the Basin Reserve for the first time in Aotearoa’s history.

Another player who’s looking forward to the day is former Wellington Firebirds player Malaesaili Tugaga who notched up more than 25 first class cricket games for the club.

“For me it’s the camaraderie, the sense of being in a team of brothers or sisters. Being in a team that you’ve grown up with the players that are in your team and having fun,” says Tugaga.

One of the event Organisers and player, Le’ausālilō Dr Sadat Muaiava, says the games are a chance for Samoans to connect with their roots through the game of kilikiti.

“The cultural aspects of kilikiti are deeply rooted in our indigenous Samoan games,” he says. 

“That’s what makes kilikiti unique. And that’s why kilikiti is for everybody, because nearly all villages in Samoa play kilikiti and we’re all descendants of a village so it’s in us.”  

Cricket Wellington’s Diversity and Inclusion Lead Frankie Stewart says it’s an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to come together, enjoy the game, and learn more about the traditions behind it.

There are plans to make ‘Kilikiti at the Basin’ an annual event with organisers already planning an even bigger event next year with more teams eager to play.

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