Su’a Tagaloa Faafouina has done wonders for Rugby League Samoa.
How the game has flourished under his guidance for the past couple of years both locally and internationally can only be attributed to his drive to succeed and strategic vision to grow the sport.
Tomorrow night, the Chairman of the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation and the President of Rugby League Samoa is one of the nominees for the Sports Administrator of the year award in S.A.S.N.O.C Sports Awards.
But Su’a is quick to credit the recognition to teamwork within the rugby league fraternity.
“I told S.A.S.N.O.C not to put my name up because I don’t deserve it but the team does,” he said. “However, I am humbled by the recognition by them and looking forward to the event because the people that are more important in the event is the athletes and the team.”
Looking back over the years, Su’a said they have had to overcome a lot of challenges.
“There are a lot of challenges when you work with different people, as an administrator and chairman we need to galvanize them into a unit so we could all flock together to achieve both short and long term goals,” he said.
“Sport administrator is a thankless job and this nomination is for all the people within league spheres who have worked together to bring the sport to where it is now.
“All Sponsors, FEXCO, our Leaders, Church Leaders, Government, our people, our Team, (coaching staff, Volunteers) and mentors like The Head of State and Masiofo Filifilia whom are inspirational and will always give us sound and deep advice from time to time.
“I still remember one of his quotes to us… 'A heart that is inspired by love, hope and trust can overcome odds.'
“Our Patron who is also the P.M also challenged us all the time even now, my church Minister Taumafai Komiti (Matafele) and Father Fred Tautunu and my wife Afi’a Sharlene McFarland and kids Sharina and Tashina and also my family for the sacrifice when away at times.”
And while the Sports Award is on his mind, it is not as heavy as the Pacific test next week in Australia against Tonga.
“Tonga will come out strong. We will need to keep doing our best and lift another level,” he said.
“There is no point to be nominated but at the end we lose against Tonga and then we hear all these negativities.”
Su’a also revealed plans for this year.
“Long term challenge and goal is the celebration of 30 years of Rugby League in Samoa in October where Samoa will see its first ever full international Test Match with another nation (this will be announced in Sydney hopefully next week when we are there for meetings and the game).”
Locally, the sport continues to grow.
Next week is the final of the Savaii Matson Toa Gas Grand tournament.
As for the future, Su’a said it will be hard work as usual.
“I will still be a father of two and a happily married man to my wife,” he said. “I will serve my clients to the best of my abilities and also serve my family, my roles and responsibility to my church at Matafele Methodist, look after my health through exercise at boot camp at One Touch Ministry, my league responsibility to align our team to achieve predetermined goals……a balanced life basically.”
Su’a is a Lay Preacher at the Methodist Church, a Chartered Accountant through the Samoa Institute of Accountants; he is a Member of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand.
He led Rugby League Samoa for the first time that a Pacific Island country was involved in the top four, the Four Nations.
He has helped to bring the Pacific Outreach to schools programmes, promote the sport in Savaii and among women. The Rugby League Office is now run by a local woman with four full time paid employees who are currently running programmes both in Savaii and Upolu.
At 43 years old, he hails from the villages of Salelavalu and Satupaitea.