After overcoming the initial hesitation to support boxing in their school, six student-athletes from Faleata College have made it to the finale of the Inter-Collegiate Boxing Tournament.
Assistant Coach, Mr. Ulili stated, “I’m pretty proud, they made it this far with their achievement. Most of the teachers didn’t support us in the beginning. They thought , “Oh it’s just fighting, Faleata won’t make it to the final.”
“Now they see that they have actually made it to the final. I can actually see that they’re starting to sponsor us like new uniforms. Now the school is stepping and trying to give us some benefits for the kids.”
With just days away from the final bout, the Faleata team is training heavily to ensure their victory this Saturday.
Mr. Ulili, stated, “Last week, our training schedule started straight after school, doing fitness tests and stuff. This week, it’s going to be more intense. We’re going to go up the mountain (Mt. Vaea) at 5 o’clock and try to run ourselves and in the morning do some sprints at the Tua’naimato Complex. “
One standout member of the Faleata is team is 91+ Kg Super heavy weight finalist, Pago Ainu’u who is raring and ready to enter the ring.
At only 17 years of age, Ainu’u recently just started boxing crossed over from rugby. He stated that balancing school and sports is tough but necessary because he believes boxing is his talent.
Despite his prowess in the ring, Ainu’u didn’t think he would make this far in the competition. He stated, “I didn’t think I make it this far. I worked so hard in my training and thank God for this opportunity that he has given to me.”
He cites his main goal is, “to be the best like Joseph Parker.”