Australian paddlers who are in Samoa for the 10th Anniversary of the Savai’i Crossing brought more than their paddles.
As part of the countdown to Friday’s big race, Coral Sea Outrigger Canoe Club Inc. visited Moata’a Primary School yesterday where they not only donated much-needed educational materials and supplies, they also shared their passion for outrigger canoeing.
Coral Sea O.C.C head coach, Steve Mills, said that away from their goal of winning the race, they wanted to do something more meaningful.
“We are a club comprised of experienced and world class paddlers but we would not want to visit your beautiful country without leaving something behind that would help your students and the school,” he said.
Posa Skelton, Samoan member or Coral Sea O.C.C and former member of Pualele O.C.C, said they were delighted to be able to give back.
“Many of the members of our club have never been to Samoa before but we all felt a great desire to contribute to the community and help inspire another generation of paddlers.”
Members of Coral Sea have been paddling for decades and are world class paddlers. They were delighted to share their passion for paddling with the school.
“We feel very blessed to be able to be here and spend time with you all in your beautiful country.”
Moata’a Primary Principal, Savali Tuuta, was a grateful woman.
“We are neighbors to Pualele, which means we are family and we are grateful not only for your generosity but for the chance for our students to learn and grow from this exchange,” she said.
The President of Pualele O.C.C, Anthony Talouli, expressed gratitude to Coral Sea O.C.C. He also invited Moata’a Primary students and teachers to visit the club.
“We know that outrigger canoeing is in our blood, and that Polynesians have traversed this ocean for thousands of years, but we welcome the next generation of paddlers from Moata’a Primary to come to Pualele so we can share our culture and your heritage,” he said.
“We thank Coral Sea O.C.C for your generosity and for wanting to give back to Samoa.”
Pualele O.C.C representative, Suisala Mele Maualaivao, expressed gratitude for the chance to share with Moata’a Primary.
“We are so grateful for this chance to strengthen our relationship with the village of Moata’a and encourage the next generation of paddlers. We welcome you and your students to join us on the waters soon!”