Two sports steeped in tradition; two sports, similar but also very different.
Over the last couple of years, a connection has been created and fostered between the 33 USOs Missionary Disciples and Papatoetoe Cricket Club.
Established by a group of young males in 2020, the 33USOs wanted to continue playing Kilikiki after the annual Catholic Church Tournament.
“Kilikiki is about fellowship, and bringing our villages and communities together,” said Paul Lavea, a key figure for 33 USOs.
“We had to look at how we could develop. We were blessed to connect with Garry Wood.
“At the time, Garry was the current Samoa cricket coach and also based at Papatoetoe Cricket club.”
The relationship between 33USOs and Papatoetoe Cricket has allowed the sharing of resources and facilities to help develop kilikiki players within the South Auckland community.
It is a unique arrangement with the 33USOs kilikiki team the first to be based under a cricket club.
Dean Bartlett, Auckland Cricket’s General Manager, Community, said the 33 USOs do amazing work in the community.
“We are extremely grateful that they connected with us to explore ways we can support getting more people active in their community in whatever sport that it is.
“The fact that there is a connection to cricket through kilikiki is a bonus and we look forward to collaborating with all players moving forward”
Lavea explained how the relationship also provides further opportunities for members of the kilikiki community to play traditional cricket.
“We now have an annual women’s kilikiki tournament promoting female participation in sport.
“Two of our female players have also debuted for the Women’s Premier Reserves in 2022.”
The tournament is now recognized under CMKA (Counties Manukau Kilikiki association) and included in kilikiki tournament calendar.
“We are grateful for the teams, villages, churches and families that keep kilikiki alive.
“The prayer is to continue to grow this beautiful game.”