For the love of hockey

By Deidre Fanene ,

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Faamausili Taiva Ah Young.

Faamausili Taiva Ah Young.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SA.S.N.O.C), Fa’amausili Taiva Ah Young, is up for an award tomorrow night.

He is nominated as one of the Sports Administrators at the S.A.S.N.O.C Sports Awards to be held at Gym 1, Tuanaimato.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Fa’amausili said he is humbled to be chosen as one of the nominees by the Samoa Hockey Federation.

 “It was humbling and an honour to have Samoa Hockey Federation nominate me for the sports administrator awards,” he said.

“I take this nomination as a challenge to all our sports administrators to keep going irrespective of the issues that they will encounter. 

“In the end it is about our commitment to our sport, our athletes and country that is most important and to see the outcome as we start to see in hockey.

“It is really pleasing and encouraging. It can be done!”

Fa’amausili spoke about his passion for hockey and how he and other members were trying to revive the sport back in the days.

“When I returned to Samoa in 2008, hockey was about to close its activities due to dwindling numbers of players as well as being deregistered by MCIL as its accounts since 2007 were not audited and lodged with MCIL and SASNOC.

 “As a Bronze Medallist in hockey in 1979 at the Pacific Games in Fiji and then a Silver Medallist at the Oceania Cup also in Fiji in 1984, I felt obligated to revive hockey and with a group of committed players like Peta Mualia-Teo, Sina Teo, Filipo Strickland, Soteria Noaese as its executive committee.

“We embarked on reviving hockey as well as auditing all its accounts and establishing our 1st Strategic Plan 2008-2011 and then our 2nd SP 2012-2015. Our 3rd SP 2016-2019 is now operating and Samoa Hockey players have been winning awards as well as scholarships.”

He went on to say that by the end of 2015 hockey has been introduced to over 10,000 people of different ages in Samoa.

“Samoa hockey was invited to compete in the Rio 2016 Qualification tournament which was held in Stratford New Zealand. 

“This is the first time ever that hockey has reached this level. Furthermore by the end of 2015, Samoa hockey has established and continued to improve on its world ranking and an Oceania ranking.

“Samoa hockey now has an annual competition starting in March until November of each year culminating to participating in international tournaments at the end of each year.”

The C.E.O went on to say that despite the achievements he received there were challenges that he needed to solve when he was appointed as C.E.O of S.A.S.N.O.C.

 “The challenges that I faced as CEO of SASNOC since being appointed in 2014 was to realign and prepare a Strategic Plan for SASNOC in order to have some directions both administratively and sports developments,” he said.

“Administratively we have improved on our staffs’ capacity to provide a service to our members and other stakeholders in a more professional commitment. 

“There were a lot of outstanding reports both financial and acquittal reports to be completed a challenge that we are still facing as new outstanding accounts and reports start popping up now and then.

 “Another challenge is helping build our National Federations into a capacity level that they will be able to train and develop their relevant sports at any level especially the grass root level. We now have 116 athletes and administrators from different NFs being trained as Coaches, Administrators, Educators and Master Educators.

 “Another important challenge is to earn the trust and credibility of the Samoan community on SASNOC once again and things are starting to look very positive and encouraging as more and more people and businesses are starting to support our programmes.

“SASNOC’s social media promotions is now reaching a large audience both in Samoa and internationally via our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram connections and we acknowledge with sincere thanks the support from VSA New Zealand for providing staff for the last three years to improve this area of SASNOC’s developments.”

Background:

He established hockey in Savaii and rural Upolu areas, established new accounting systems, prepared all financial accounts from 2007 to present (correcting outstanding audit and annual reports) and had all accounts audited, registered and lodged all the outstanding with MCIL and provided updates to SASNOC.

As of 2015 have all its requirements as an Association with SASNOC up to date.

Hockey now has an annual competition throughout the whole year.

Regional and inter-island hockey introduction visits in schools and community organisations

Hockey now competes internationally and Samoa is now ranked third in the Pacific.

Last year Samoa Hockey took part for the first time in an Olympic Qualification tournament for the Rio 2016 Qualification tournament

By the end of 2015, the Men’s team won the Overall Champions. 

Through the training programmes that Fa’amausili has instigated, Samoa was privileged to see three top athletes being awarded best player in the recent Oceania tournaments.  He has also established an exchange programme with the Stratford Hockey Federation. 

Samoa Hockey has two  level 2 coaches, 10 level 1 coaches with 12 level 1 umpires being trained as part of reviving hockey in Samoa. 

Fa’amausili also believes in the development of women in sports and has been the behind the scene supporter for the Women’s national team to participate in international tournaments. 

He is married to Melinda Brown-Ah Young with three biological children and two adopted and he hails from the village of Malie.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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