Four members of the Samoa Judo Association will be travelling to Auckland New Zealand this coming Saturday to compete in the 14th Auckland International Open Judo Championship.
The Samoa team will head by two coaches Sensei Fubuki Eguchi and Sensei Derek Sua with four judo members Maria Su’a 63kg senior women, Maria Gay, 57kg Cadet Women, Lemotu Ah Day, 78+kg Cadet Women and Raymond Faalafi Open Senior Boys.
In an interview with the President of the Samoa Judo Association Travis Lamb he said this competition is held annually at this time of the year.
“In terms of international judo competitions in the South Pacific this tournament is one of the biggest ones for our people,” he said.
“There’s one Oceania Championship that is held every year and this year it was held in Canberra and Derek Sua went and compete in that tournament.
“This tournament is always held at this time of the year July but it’s the first time for quite a few years we’ve actually sent a team over.”
He went on say that for the three out of the four that are going this is their first international tournament.
“It’s important to compete at this type of tournament is obviously in Samoa small number and you don’t get the competition that you need and we need to go to these competitions,” he said.
“Some of them it’s for points that you pick up but really is to push themselves against these competitions.
“So it’s really exciting with these four and it is self funded so there’s not a lot of funding around so they funded themselves to go because they are very keen so a big thank you to their families and especially their parents for the support.
“We also acknowledge the support from the SASNOC and the SSFA, also the JICA for helping us out and supporting us in everything.
“The competition will include 276 competitors, 42 clubs and 11 nations that will participate in the tournament.”
The President also acknowledges the support from the Island Rock for donating a uniform for the team.
“As you all know we don’t have much funds to support the team but we want to thank the owner and the staff of Island Rock for donating these uniforms for the team to wear at the competition,” he said.
They provided uniforms for the team and so we appreciate all the help that we got from them and also everyone else.”
The cost of the uniform is approximately $600 tala.
The competition will start on Saturday and ends on Sunday and the four competitors will return next week.