The Samoa Sportslotto donated $15,000 to assist the Samoa Weightlifting Federation.
This is part of their assistance for the team that will be heading to the Oceania Championship.
The weightlifting team will leave the country 24 June to attend the Oceania Senior, Junior and Youth Championships at Mont Dore, New Caledonia from 26th – 30th of this month.
There are six athletes that will represent Samoa in the competition and the President of the Samoa Weightlifting Association, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, believes the donation was an answered prayer and it was an opportunity they could not afford to miss.
“Today (yesterday) is an answer to our prayers, we have been tossing and turning of how we could come up with the funds to make up the balance that we needed. We initially got some money from the S.A.S.N.O.C. through the I.O.C. that assisted us, but it was not enough."
“So this $15,000 was a very last minute request last week. We are very thankful to the Government and also the C.E.O. of Sports lotto for coming up with this amount of money that will enable our full team to participate in the Oceania Championships,” he told the Business team.
Tuaopepe also highlighted the importance of the Oceania Championship and they are more than ready to bring Gold medal home for Samoa.
“The team that I am taking to the Oceania is not the same team that went to the Commonwealth Games. The team from the Commonwealth Games I gave them five weeks off, this team that I am taking to the Oceania Championship is just as good as the team that was in the Commonwealth."
“On top of that, this event is a qualifying event for the Olympic Games 2020, we must participate. If Samoa wants to take weightlifters to the Olympic Games, we must participate here and next year, it is a criterion."
“It is a structured building programme to win a medal at the Olympic 2020, which is our goal now and there is a big chance of achieving it. What we want to achieve is a Gold medal and we are happy that we are able to go."
“There is one goal and that is to win Gold medals for everybody, very realistically we are going to achieve it. They have trained very hard over the last eight weeks and that is why I did not want to let them down,” he added.
They have been preparing for more than five weeks for this upcoming event and they are excited for this tournament.
“We are ready. We were just waiting for funding to be able to get our fares together. The team is ready there are no injuries. We are looking forward to the tournament.”
According to Auimatagi Faafetai Karanita Ah Kuoi, the manager of Gambling Control Authority, their focus in Sports Lotto is they want to see the development of sports.
“All the requests that have been given to us and then we would look at the criteria that they would need to meet. The Government just wants to see the youngsters in this field of sport flourish, there are different talents and this is one way of boosting it.”