The Leadership Samoa programme has stepped up to take the lead to acknowledge Samoa’s leading sportsmen and sportswomen.
The class of 2015 and 2016 is set to launch the Samoa Sports Awards next Wednesday in an effort to encourage the local sporting fraternity to aim higher. The actual Awards is scheduled for the end of the year.
C.E.O of the Programme, Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun, said the idea is to honour Samoa's finest athletes.
“Right after the launch we will give all the sports organizations a chance to send in their nominations and justifications as to why they deserve the selection,” he said.
“Later on in the year, we will select three members from the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C) and three members from us to sit down and finalise who will be awarded that night.”
There will be at least 12 awards up for grabs.
They will be a form of incentive for the sports community to continue to strive for greatness.
“This is the project for last year’s intake and they have opted for sports since there’s no other incentive right now for our sports people,” he said. “The only incentive they get is from the government and from minor sponsorships.”
Seumanu said they hope to make it an annual event.
“The idea we’re trying to push is to have this as an annual event with S.A.S.N.O.C hopefully partnering up with us.
“For this yearm S.A.S.N.O.C has already decided on having their own sports award night so we have told them to go on ahead and we will go ahead with ours in December.”
The event will target all sports affiliated with S.A.S.N.O.C and a few other sports organizations that are not. The driving factor for this event is the influential aspect of sports.
“Sports is one thing that unites this nation. We’ve witnessed that with the 2010 World Series champions, everything that has to do with sports has the potential to inspire nations,” Seumanu said.
“If a sportsperson does well for Samoa then the nation rejoices together and forgets all their problems.”
Sports men and women work so hard and Leadership Samoa want to reward them for their efforts.
“We need to give these hard working sports people something to reward them… we wanted to contribute back to sports t so this award night will be to honour them and honour those behind the scenes,” Seumanu said.
“There are always those few sports administrators behind the scenes doing hard work and no one knows. Some even use money out of their pockets to pay for the day to day affairs of their athletes or teams. So we wanted to acknowledge those people along with the athletes during the awards night.” The awards the sports icons will receive will not be just another typical plastic trophy but it will hold much value.
“We want to have an awards night that is unique and to add value to the careers of these sports people,” Seumanu said. “We want to give the sort of awards that people can cherish for the rest of their lives and their children can look at filling their pride for their parents.”
Fifty per cent of the proceeds from the event will stay with Leadership Samoa to sustain the event, 25% will go to any sports organization Leadership Samoa feels deserves the money and the last 25% will go to S.A.S.N.O.C.
“S.A.S.N.O.C will receive 25% because they sometimes suffer with finances and this is our way of contributing to them annually,” Seumanu said. “The awards night will be a night of entertainment and fun for everyone to enjoy.”
Next Wednesday’s launch kicks off at 7pm at the National University of Samoa’s Fale.