Samoa lies in the Polynesian area of the Pacific Ocean – about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand – and it consists of the islands of Upolu, Savaii and eight smaller islets. The country gained independence from New Zealand in 1962 and three quarters of its population reside on Upola. Agricultural exports – mainly coconut-based products – have underpinned the country’s economy for many years but in more recent times, an expanding tourist market has substantially boosted foreign earnings with tourist numbers growing every year.
Samoans love their sport and both codes of rugby are very popular with the islanders. Netball and volleyball are favourite team games but neither come close to attracting the numbers involved in kirikiti (a form of cricket) Golf, unfortunately, is a sport yet to catch on in big numbers with the locals.