Australians were joined by their Samoan friends yesterday to celebrate Australia Day through the inaugural Australia Day Swim held at the Apia Harbour.
The event which kicked off at midday featured a two kilometre swim followed by a barbeque and refreshments. Participants ranged in age from nine to sixty-one and included both locals and Australians.
One such Australian, in Samoa on holiday, was Linda Duff.
She described the swim as “challenging” but highlighted the event as being part of a stand out “number one” Australia Day.
Even far from her home in Iluka, New South Wales, Duff seemed to have found what is important to her on Australia Day.
“It’s about getting together with good people and well, here they’re great people,” she said.
Sam Nimarota took out the two kilometre swim while the one kilometre swim was won by Australian Kylie Duff.
The inaugural event was organised by Seti Afoa, Director of Samoa Events and Founder of the Samoa Triathlon Federation.
Afoa was pleased with the event’s success and said that he plans to grow it as an annual swim.
For him, helping people celebrate Australia Day with this swim is a means of thanking Australians for their support of events put on by Samoa Events.
“Samoa Events is my business, it’s been around for four years,” he said.
“We do Samoa Swim Series, half ironmans, runs and most people that take part in that are Australians, more so than Kiwis, even though I’m a Kiwi.”
“Also we’ve had a lot of assistance from the Australian High Commission, Aus AID, I even had a volunteer for a whole year from the YAD program. So it’s something for me to say, ‘thank you Australia’ every year.”
Vailima was also a great supporter of the event providing $790 worth of beer and Gatorade as well as the tent.
Sales Representative from Vailima, Carlos Sialaoa, said they agreed to sponsor the event when asked on radio. However he also saw it as a way of helping Australians enjoy their national day.
“We wanted to be a part of Australia and help all the Aussies celebrate because we know this is a big day for them.”