Premier Aloha World Sevens a Resounding Success!
New Zealand’s Reigning Secondary Schools Women’s National Champion, Wins Premier AWS Women’s U-20 Title.
Hamilton Girl’s High School (HGHS), New Zealand’s Women’s Secondary Schools Sevens Rugby national champion, dominated an elite Pacific Barbarians squad from Australia to claim the 2014 Women’s Cup final championship at the inaugural ALOHA WORLD SEVENS in Honolulu. The final score was 22-12.
In the AWS Men’s U20 Cup final, the Titans from Honolulu outlasted Kahuku High School 24-22 – upsetting the same Kahuku Red Raider team that beat them one day earlier in pool play.
Hawaii Governor Neil Albercrombie, Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui (left) and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell (right) presented official signed proclamations in person to the AWS Co-Founders declaring June 5-7, 2014, as ALOHA WORLD SEVENS WEEK in Hawaii. Lt. Governor Tsutsui personally delivered and presented the Proclamation from him and the Governor to the AWS tournament venue Kapi’olani Park in Waikiki.
The ALOHA WORLD SEVENS tournament, sanctioned or endorsed by both the IRB (International Rugby Board) and USA Rugby, is Hawaii’s largest-ever U20 Men’s and Women’s Sevens Rugby championship.
Fourteen teams – 8 Men’s and 6 Women’s – participated in the U20 competition from Australia, New Zealand, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.
Adding recognition and credibility to the inaugural AWS tournament was the participation of Brent Semmons, Director of Sport/head coach at New Zealand’s four-time national Secondary School’s Men’s champion, Kelston Boys High School (KBHS). They also won the 2012 Sanix World Youth Rugby Championship title.
Coach Semmons and Kelston team manager, Logan McPherson, conducted a FREE ALOHA WORLD SEVENS Players and Coaches Sevens clinic a day before the tournament began for more than 150 participants.
Semmons said he planned to bring his national championship Kelston Boys High School team next year and will encourage top teams from New Zealand and other countries to also participate in future ALOHA WORLD SEVENS tournaments.
The 2015 AWS tournament is currently scheduled for March 18-21.
Reg Schwenke, President and Chief Executive Officer for the ALOHA WORLD SEVENS, noted: “We were pleased and excited by the overwhelmingly positive experience by all our participants, managing a combined total of 28 U20 and Keiki Flag Rugby teams and almost 300 players. However, we are more excited about the number of elite U20 international teams we expect next year and in the future.”
“Our goal”, Schwenke added, “is to establish the ALOHA WORLD SEVENS as a world-class Sevens Rugby event and this year was a great beginning. Our success is a credit to our organizing committee, Sponsors and an incredible team of experienced volunteers.”
The AWS sponsors were Ko’olauloa Educational Alliance Corporation (KEAC), Pepsi, Richard Lee Fale (for Senate), World Rugby Shop, Gilbert, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Domino’s Pizza, U-Haul, Hawaii Tents & Events, ESPN 1420AM, Rukutai, Outrigger Hotels, Polynesian Cultural Center and City and County of Honolulu, studio853 and Hawaiian Airlines.
For many spectators, the highlight of the 3-day AWS tournament was the 14 Under-7 (U7) and Under10 (U10) Keiki Flag Rugby teams from Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. The joyful exuberance of these youngsters served as infectious family fun entertainment for everyone.