A charity auction held during Saturday’s Rumble in Paradise fight raised over $16,000 for local charities; suicide awareness group Fa’ataua le Ola and the Samoan Boxing Academy.
Fa’ataua le Ola is a non governmental organisation that deals specifically with the issue of suicide prevention and awareness and works closely with victims and their families to help lower the rate of suicide within Samoa.
The Samoan Boxing Academy was an initiative set up by local boxer Bubba Tuigamala and his wife to help local children who have come from tough backgrounds; to give them something to do with their time and energy and to keep them safe and on the right path.
Bubba’s father, Iga Tuigamala is proud of his son and all his hard work in establishing the Samoan Boxing Academy and is extremely grateful to the Duco team for their charity auction held at last Saturday’s fight.
“This charity is set up to help create pathways for these young kids, some of these kids come from very poor families and backgrounds, but through the Samoan Boxing Academy, through Bubba’s program, it just gives them a pathway to and hope for the future,” Tuigamala told the Samoa Observer.
“So this is brilliant, as you know, to run a charity you need funds and there’s a lot of emphasis placed on education of the sport but not just the skill and the talent and what’s required but life skills as well. That’s something that my son is really big on, and bringing some good values, some good principles about life in general.”
Bubba personally is thrilled to receive a share in the funds raised on the night and is looking forward to using that money to create packages of boxing essentials for his kids.
“Some of these kids train in bare feet. We want to use the money to buy them some sports uniforms and some proper shoes so that they can continue working hard and training hard,” Bubba said.
The rest of the money will be saved and used throughout the year to replace any clothes, shoes or equipment that the children may need.
Bubba described the Rumble in Paradise fight as having a huge impact on boxing in Samoa and is hoping there will be an influx of kids into the sport after the event.
“Personally I hope that it has inspired some young kids to take up boxing,” he said. “Hopefully they watched the fight and thought, if Joseph can do it so can I.”
The fight may be over, and Lupesoliai Laauli Joseph Parker may be one step closer to a world title shot, but for Bubba and his kids, the impact this fight has had on their lives will last much longer.
The event aimed to raise the profile of boxing within Samoa and through that Bubba hopes it will also raise awareness of the kids in his program. “I hope as a country we can come together and help these young kids who can’t get any help for themselves,” Bubba said.
It was not possible to get a comment from Fa’ataua le Ola yesterday.