Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork; heart of gold

By Diedre Fanene ,

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LIFTING PEOPLE UP THROUGH SPORT: S.W.A President Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork with one of the SVSG victims, Feagaiga Stowers at the Youth Commonwealth Games last year.

LIFTING PEOPLE UP THROUGH SPORT: S.W.A President Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork with one of the SVSG victims, Feagaiga Stowers at the Youth Commonwealth Games last year.

We all know there have been a lot of articles about the Samoa Weightlifting Federation and what they have been doing for the children of Samoa.

We are also aware that Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork is the man with the drive to help  these children succeed in life.

However why he does it, is something that hadn’t been explained 

Tuaopepe said that it is in his blood to help these children to become better people.

“A lot of the children that I have been training come from hard backgrounds,” he said.

“Many of these children who are stable now have been to places. They are champions; they came from being street kids to champions.

“They were trouble makers and believe it or not some of these kids have been to prison and I have channelled their lives so that there are directions for them to aim for.

“You see sport is like anything else, like work and school. If you are faithful with your work and also the training time and the time to rest, then you can apply the same thing to your job and also studies.”

Tuaopepe said the life of an athlete is controlled by their training.

 “Athletes are probably more focused than any others because there is a lot of preparation - day in and day out, twice a day,” he said.

“They cannot go out; they must have enough sleep, enough food to eat because their lives are controlled by training especially with the level that most of these children are at.

“I have taken that opportunity to the Samoa Victim Support Group youngsters and some of them are becoming really good at this. No doubt people will see some gold medallists from these children in the years to come.

“One of the most important things for me is for them to achieve the goals that they were set . What more can I ask of them? “They are doing it for the country because they don’t really get anything. I try and get funding to give them some allowances so they can sustain their training.” For Tuaopepe personally, he said this work and development of  youngsters is in his blood and because of his love for his country.

“I have been doing this for 30 years as an athlete and now as a coach,” he said.

“I cannot stop because I want them to achieve something in life and become better people.

“I also do it for the country and that is important thing as well.

“There are no rewards for us but we do it for the country so that the Samoan flag will be out there and so that people will know about us.

“I do the same with my athletes, I have taught them to do it for the country and the flag but not money and rewards.

“I taught them that when they win, they should have pride for their country because they are carrying the name and the flag, Samoa.”

 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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