Meet Zachary Young of Vaiola College.
The young athlete has always wanted to follow his dad’s footsteps and yesterday he got the chance to do so in the Champ of Champs Athletics competition.
What’s even more special is that he represented the hopes of Savai’i when he ran out for Vaiola College.
“I might not be a good runner but I tried my best to be one because I’ve always wanted to continue my dad’s sport,” he said.
“As you can see I’ve made it to the Champ of Champs and that is a huge step forward for me.”
Zachary lives in Lotopa.
But his grandfather encouraged him to get an education in Savai’i at Vaiola College so he could experience the culture and learn from the challenges of schooling on the big island.
“I live in the school dorm,” he said. “My school is my home.”
Asked about his experiences so far, he said: “Well life in Savai’i is hard, you don’t sit around but work every day.
“But that is not the case for Upolu. In fact, life in Upolu is kind of similar to the lifestyle in New Zealand.”
Zach said he would choose Savai’i any day.
“If I have to choose between Savai’i and Upolu, I would prefer Savai’i because apart from all the hard work, you can still find peace there.”
Looking at the challenges of today, Zach believes the athletics competition is an important part of efforts to develop young talents.
“These competitions have worked to improve the relationships between schools,” he said. “It’s been great this year.
“Unlike before, we always end up fighting but for this year, students are all friendly.”
Zach has big plans.
He wants to represent Samoa at the next Pacific Games.
“These opportunities are rare because they only pick out the best,” he said.
“My goal is to make it to the Mini Games at the end of this year, so hopefully I get it.”
Zachary also had a message for all the young kids out there
“Don’t be discouraged easily,” he said. “Be motivated and work hard to reach you goals. For my team, win or lose let’s just enjoy the moment.”