The President of the Samoa Triathlon Federation (S.T.F), Afoa Seti Afoa, has been invited to represent Samoa at the XXIX International Triathlon Union (I.T.U) Congress in Madrid in December.
This is the first time Samoa will be represented at the Congress International triathlon meeting.
The Madrid meeting is particularly important for Oceania Triathlon Union (O.T.U) of which Samoa is an integral member.
O.T.U. President, Terry Sheldrake of New Zealand will look to increase the region’s development and involvement in ITU schedule of Olympic qualifier races.
As a voting member, Samoa will play an important part in Madrid.
Mr. Sheldrake is very supportive of S.T.F’s involvement in Madrid.
“Within his capacity as President, Seti has been invited by the I.T.U. and accepted to attend and contribute to both the upcoming December Oceania, and I.T.U. voting congress meetings in Madrid,” writes Mr. Sheldrake.
“Oceania triathlon looks forward to watching the progress and providing new opportunities in particular for local Samoan youth into the future under the guidance of Seti and his elected committee. “
Mr. Sheldrake also highlighted the goals for Samoa.
“The Oceania Union via its development budget is currently reviewing how best to invest into Samoa triathlon in 2017 in particular with the Gold Coast Common Wealth Games scheduled for 2018.”
The goals for Samoa are also the aims for the region.
The recent Rio Olympics highlighted the gap between Oceania and the rest of the world. None of the island nations were represented in triathlon in Rio.
Not only that, but the big two, Australia and New Zealand finished outside of the medals.
The best result for Oceania was in the women’s race in sixth and seventh places for Emma Moffat of Australia and Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand respectively.
Top Oceania men finished ninth and tenth placings for the two Aussies Aaron Royle and Ryan Baillie.
The top Kiwi placing was 17th (Ryan Sissons). This in an event where both New Zealand and Australia have won gold in the past.
The Madrid Congress will help cement Oceania’s place in the ITU world particularly the region’s development in the sport.
Mr. Sheldrake was instrumental in setting up Samoa Triathlon Federation.
He visited twice in 2013 to attend triathlon races organised by Samoa Events. And while here, he also met with S.A.S.N.O.C. President, Fepulea’i Patrick Fepulea’i to discuss the establishment of a triathlon federation in the country.
Having Samoa represented in the Madrid Congress is a realisation of that long process.