Former Manu Samoa, Tuala Mathew Vaea, has been appointed the C.E.O. for Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.).
Tuala replaces Fa’amausili Tavita Ah-Young who served as C.E.O. for the past three years.
Tuala says he is excited and ready to take on the new role.
“It's an exciting opportunity for me to work with the S.A.S.N.O.C. Board and its members to achieve the vision and future aspirations of the organization," he said.
“S.A.S.N.O.C’s Strategic Plan is important for me to help steer the direction of the company. My role is to drive the organisation to achieve its priority goals under this long-term view and that is about performance.
Tuala believes he is ready to make a difference on the development programmes, especially leadership and governance of any kind of sports in Samoa.
“I believe sports as a sector can utilize my scope of experience to grasp the critical and wider role that sports plays in our country. The development side of the equation means social cohesion, physical activity and physical education for our people.
“At the elite level, my high performance background can help the National Federations align their systems to realistic performance benchmarking and importantly working with our sporting bodies to strengthen key areas such as governance and leadership, so that administrators of sports can work in unison to support athletes and coaches.
“Systems are important to having success. Engaging the right people in the right roles will help produce results.
“I look forward to working closely with all our sports and our stakeholders in Samoa, to build a better understanding about where we are heading as a sector, engage support for our sports, and to build stronger relationships to help us achieve our agreed goals in the medium to long term future.”
Tuala’s education background was in Samoa from Apia Primary, Leifiifi Intermediate then a private scholarship to Wanganui Collegiate School, New Zealand (1981-84).
From there, he went on to Unitech Wellington and studied Commercial Law and worked at Westpac Finance. Halfway through this career path, an opportunity in Italy surfaced and then he decided to venture into semi-professional rugby in Milan, Italy (1985-86 & 89).
Tuala joined coaching classes in 1988 under the New Zealand Rugby Football Union following an injury he sustained.
He later moved back to Samoa in 1990 and made the final squad of the Manu Samoa team for the Rugby World Cup in 1991.
Tuala retired from professional rugby and later was a certified Coach under the North Harbour Coaching accreditation. He coached Rovato, Brescia (Northern Province of Italy) and became the Assistant Coach for Italy.
In 2006-2007, Tuala was the Head Coach I.R.B.-S.R.U. High Performance Unit and in 2008-2015 he was General Manager I.R.B.-S.R.U. High Performance Programme, Faleata.
He was also part of the Executive Certifications of Elite Sport Management Systems (University of Sydney and Australian Institute of Sports Elite Sport Administration Program) in 2008-2009.
“Of note in this program was the caliber of international coaches and administrators from the Australia's Institute of Sport. Rugby coaches included Steve Hansen, Robbie Deans and me, fully funded by International Rugby Board.”
Tuala also worked for O.N.O.C. O.S.E.P. (Oceania Sports Education Program) Regional Master Educator in the Pacific Region that focuses on coaching, administration, governance.
He now works with the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (P.I.F.S.) and European Union (E.U.) Graduates Programme.