The stakes have been raised in the development of athletes in Samoa.
Thanks to the founders of Samoa Institute of Sport (S.I.S) Ruta Schwalger and Phillipa Matatia, who officially launched S.I.S. at Taumeasina Island Resort .
S.I.S. is a sports development and management company that specializes in supporting the advancement of Samoa’s future sporting stars.
Miss Schwlager shared the inspiration behind the creation of S.I.S.
“Pip and I moved from New Zealand at the beginning of this year and we decided to volunteer our time with Netball. In the process of training the girls and taking them on tour, we found that there were parts of their development that they were lacking. Just having a look at the other sports as well, they also had some athletes who had areas where they needed to be developed. So we thought we’d jump in and help that way. We’re hoping we can work with the N.F.’s, so if they have any athletes that they want to come through, we can help develop them holistically, we’re more than happy to help them. “ Miss. Schwalger told the Sunday Observer.
S.I.S. is revolutionary in their holistic approach for athlete development. Not only do they work on developing the athlete physically but also mentally by offering courses in life skills such as budgeting, goal setting and also focusing on mental health. All of these courses are relevant for athletes’ development and not just focusing on the physical side of players.
There was a massive turnout of leaders of various sporting bodies, families and friends who were keen to know more about the Samoa Institute of Sport at the launch.
The Keynote Speaker was the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio who applauded the dynamic duo for taking the initiative to help develop the countries athletes.
He hailed S.I.S. for being a “breath of fresh air” for the new approach and was proud to take part in the momentous occasion.
S.I.S. already has big plans in store.
The Institute will hold trials at the beginning of next year to field athletes for their High Performance Academy. The target age range for the Academy is 14 to early 20s and Miss. Schwlager shared how the athletes will be selected.
“We’ll take them through testing which will be the physical aspects of it. Then after the results, we’ll see who makes the top levels. Then they will come through for an interview process and we’ll see how committed they are to sticking to an annual programme and just to see what their goals are like and how motivated they are to make it to the National teams.”