Sports has been a hot topic this past week in Samoa.
There was our national sports body the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.), holding their A.G.M. as well as the election of office holders for the next four years.
And while it was disappointing that some of the officials’ positions weren’t filled at S.A.S.N.O.C.- Vice Presidents and Treasurer necessitating another meeting, there were some positives.
After spending a good chunk of the past two years tidying up the diabolical state of the finances from previous office holders, it is pleasing to see president Patrick Fepuleai back unopposed for another term giving him a chance to really make his own mark in the position.
The important position of Secretary General was eventually won by Pauga Talalelei Pauga who defeated the only other nominee, Nynette Sass.
Pauga brings experience to the position having been appointed Acting Secretary General midterm after the death of the previous appointee, as well as the position of Treasurer.
Sadly, C.E.O. Faamausili Taiva Ah Young has resigned and taken up another position after making much-needed changes in the day to day running of the organisation and capacity building of administrative staff in order to provide better service to the 30 plus sports that are affiliated.
The re-election of several Board members – Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork (weightlifting) and Nynette Sass (yachting) will be further strengthened by the addition of Sala Stella Siale – Vaea Tangitau (international cricket) and Rosemarie Esera (netball). Both Sala and Rosemarie have made a difference in their chosen sports in the time they have been at the forefront. And while it remains to be seen what the priorities will be for the next four years, the expertise and drive of those elected augurs well for Samoa’s sports Associations and Federations.
On the international front, there was the arrival of Duco Events representatives who came here to meet with the Prime Minister to seek money again after failing to loosen the purse strings of New Zealand organisations and government for the next Lupesoliai Joseph Parker fight. While there were some hopes that the fight might be staged here, there has been no confirmation to date with regard to Samoa fronting up with money or Duco and others agreeing to move the fight to Samoa.
The possibility of a Manu Samoa game against the All Blacks (here? there? who knows where?) was also in the news both here and in New Zealand which gave some credence that it might be more than just wishful thinking and idle talk.
Meanwhile Ele Opeloge, our first-ever Silver Olympic medallist who arrived back in the country to receive her long awaited medal was already visiting schools with her coach, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork to thank youngsters, their teachers and parents for recognising her as a role model.
And in today’s issue, we got a comprehensive update from our rugby coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens about coping with the many variables of life on the Sevens circuit – injuries, resignations and stretching a budget and personnel to be competitive on the world circuit.
For those of us who may have thought that the life of athletes, coaches and administrators was simply talent, training, travelling and competing at tournaments, some of these news stories may have shown another a far different world to that which we view from the sidelines or the comfort of our lounges.