A famous author Simon Sinek once said “Stars want to see themselves rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around them rise to the top.”
This quote describes Samoa Cricket’s General Manager, Salā Stella Siale-Vaea Tangitau as a true leader.
Salā has been nominated for the ‘Sports Administrator of the Year award’ in the upcoming S.A.S.N.O.C. sports awards.
From the villages of Salai’lua, Leauvaa and Safotu, Salā is a mother of three and the wife of Tuala Mathew Vaea.
She has held the position of General Manager since 17th June 2013.
But the big question is ‘why does Salā deserve the award?’
Here is just a fraction of her achievements:
• She was the first Samoan female General Manager/CEO in the International Cricket Council (I.C.C) East Asia Pacific Region.
• She was the manager of the Gold medal winning National Women’s Cricket team which took part in the P.N.G. Pacific Games.
• She holds an Advanced Diploma in Sports Organization Management as well as becoming a master educator in this field.
• She helped increase the number of participants in the sport of cricket as well as the numbers of officials in 2015.
• Her drive for the sport of cricket in Samoa has been vital to the growth of domestic competitions in 2015.
Salā has done so much in her line of work to be nominated for the sports award but everything comes down to her love of sports.
“I have always enjoyed sports; it’s my passion to get involved with sports in terms of health and activeness,” she said during an interview with Samoa Observer.
“So when the role came up I thought ‘why not?’ it’s a challenge especially because I knew at the time that cricket was at an infant stage, but now the baby is starting to crawl and slowly getting ready to walk.” Being nominated for the awards means a lot to Salā.
“When I was nominated for the sports awards I felt very humbled and privileged. I am very thankful to the board of Samoa Cricket as well as my team for having that confidence and the acknowledgement of what I have contributed to the growth of cricket as well as sports in Samoa, so I am very, very happy,” she said.
“In terms of the sports awards, in general I feel that it’s about time that our athletes, coaches and administrators should be acknowledged for their part in developing sports in Samoa.
“Last time they had a sports award was back in 2007 so it has been long overdue.
“I also feel it has been very well explained or very well emphasized that everyone involved in sports development who are based overseas, are more than welcome to be nominated in these sports awards.”
“Looking at the athletes we have today, there are quite a few inspirational people out there; but also at the same time, I would like to be an inspiration to my own athletes and players,” she said,
“To see them grow to that elite and professional level so that they may help out their families as well as the development of sports in Samoa.”
Acting on what she just said, Salā wasted no time and took the opportunity to say a few inspirational words for those future administrators of Samoa.
“For those who want to grow up and become an administrator, there are so many opportunities in sports,” she said.
“When I grew up sports at that time, it was considered as just a past time and I feel that mentality is still around but slowly the government, donors and funders are coming together to develop sports.
“Being in this position of General Manager and looking at the opportunities that are there in cricket not only for the athletes but also for officials, there are heaps of opportunities, you can always be more than you think you can be.
“Sport is an agent for positive change, and I encourage everyone out there whether you’re an athlete, coach or administrator to just live your dream and focus on it, you will get what you want in this life.”
But Salā admits that she wouldn’t have got anywhere without the support of those close to her.
“There are so many people I want to thank for my achievements; the board of Samoa Cricket, my team/staff I couldn’t have done it without them; I would also love to thank the I.C.C .East Asia Pacific regional office,” she said
“(And) most importantly I would like to thank my family who have supported me throughout the years.”