The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture has launched the first College Boxing Competition, scheduled to start on 7 October 2016.
The competition is an initiative from the Minister of Education, Loau Keneti Sio, to take boxing to another level.
The idea is to encourage physical fitness and well being, promote boxing as a pathway to a career in sport as well as to foster healthy competition between the schools.
It reflects the governments’ intention to develop boxing from grassroots level and promote the sport which has delivered Samoa previous success in international boxing competition namely Pacific Games and Commonwealth Games.
It will also create pathways for students to take up boxing as a career and with the right training and guidance, a stepping-stone to represent Samoa internationally.
The President of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympics Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C), Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai, welcomed the initiative.
He said these are all parts of lifting the standards of this sport up and he is hoping by the 2020 Olympics Samoa is ready to compete at a professional level.
The President of Samoa Amateur Boxing Association Auali’itia Faafouina Milford is equally supportive.
Minister Loau said he is excited about the initiative, reminding that not all Samoan students are rugby players. The competition is another way of addressing the issue of violence among students, as it will give students the chance to channel their energy to a better cause.
Program coordinator Va’aiga Tuigamala believes the key to success is preparation.
“We should be thankful to our forefathers for they have paved this way for us,” said Tuigamala. “You are blessed with a God given talent and blessed with the ability.”
Eight schools have been confirmed to take part this year, Avele, Faleata, Church College, Samoa College, St. Joseph’s, Robert Louis Stevenson, Leififi and Maluafou College.
Each school was presented with boxing gears to kick-start their preparations. The competition will be held at the Tuana’imato Gym.