Extraordinary Girls Squash Tournament.

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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Extra Ordinary Young Women: Alberta Moeono, Letava Thompson (Winner of the squash tournament), Nynette Sass, Taialofa Kerstin, and Leata Esekia.

Extra Ordinary Young Women: Alberta Moeono, Letava Thompson (Winner of the squash tournament), Nynette Sass, Taialofa Kerstin, and Leata Esekia.

With the Digicel Extraordinary Women’s Challenge crawling to an end the girls were introduced to the sport of Squash.

The young women (with some not knowing anything about squash) were taught the art of the sport throughout the week before getting into competition mode yesterday morning.

Nynette Sass the Chairperson for Samoa Women in Sports spoke to Samoa Observer on the programmes progress.

“Our team is really excited with the progress so far; this week of squash has been awesome and we have seen some very competitive games; it has been a lot of great fun,” she said.

“Some of the junior girls came down not knowing anything about squash and as seen with today’s tournament they turned up again because they are really excited about the game.

“I think the squash association will be happy to pick up a few more junior girls; they ensured us that they will be starting a junior’s programme where the extraordinary girls will be invited to.”

Ms. Sass was happy to say that the programme has been a great success.

“As far as the event is concerned we have achieved everything we set out to do;” she said.

“We provided awareness of the sports, encouraged young women to get into a more active lifestyle, and we have the added bonus of having some of the national federations pick up some new members from girls involved in this programme.”

According to Ms. Sass they anticipate next year’s event to be bigger and better.

“We look forward to next year being a bigger event with us now knowing some of the bumps we need to flatten out,” she said.

“Next week Thursday will be the finals of the lawn bowls because it was postponed due to the weather and then the day after will be prize giving’s and inspirational seminars which will be good for the girls.

“The inspirational seminars will be good for those girls who decide to take sports as a root for them to pursue as athletes and administrators.”

According to Ms. Sass during an earlier interview she said that one of the issues this year was that after registrations closed there were still girls asking to join.

“Next year if you want to be part of this exciting event we will be advertising really early so the people are aware,” she said.

“We will be doing it around the same time so that way it will be consistent and people can continue participating.

“I also think it is good to do it around this time as kids are just getting into the rhythm of school so they can get some sports to continue with throughout the year.

“(And) please don’t wait till last minute to join because that was an issue this year, other than that the feedback from the participants was really positive and they say they want to do it again next year.”

Ms. Sass concluded with a word of encouragement for the girls.

“Sports is not just about playing a game; It is about developing the mind and body… if we are healthy in body then we can do so much more,” she said.

“This is a great opportunity for the girls and women to take better care of themselves because if we are strong then we can do a lot more for our family and loved one.”

After winning the squash tournament yesterday Letava Thompson spoke to Samoa Observer on how great the event has been for her.

“The programme has given me a new sport (squash) that I want to take up for good now,” she said.

“This is something I will definitely do again. It is very enjoyable.

“This programme introduced me to so many sports I hadn’t gotten a chance to play before; I definitely feel that this programme is a great opportunity for us young women.”

When asked which of the sports is her favorite she said it was hard to choose with it being a tie between squash and outrigger canoeing.

Letava urges all the young women of Samoa to take up this programme.

“All the young women should come along and participate in programmes like this because you learn new skills, meet new people and have fun along the way.” she said.

“I would like to thank the Digicel team for sponsoring this and also to the coordinators because without this I wouldn’t have found squash and I wouldn’t have met the new friends I now have.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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