Reports that the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) is to be separated have been welcomed by some quarters of the community.
For Samoa’s Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC) C.E.O, Faámausili Taiva Ah Young, his excitement comes with the possible increased spotlight on sports in Samoa.
These changes surfaced last week when it was announced to the staff members at M.E.S.C. headquarters, Malifa, that the Ministry of Education will become one entity pulling away from Sports and Culture.
According to Faámausili, It is obvious that Samoa is now prioritizing more on sports, and with possibilities of having a Ministry of Sports, the spotlight only gets bigger.
The C.E.O. added that S.A.S.N.O.C. is very happy for that decision because that means they now see where the government is directing its resources, as far as sports is concerned.
“We are really happy to see that sports is being prioritized, and we are now just waiting anxiously to see what is going to happen,” he told Samoa Observer.
Asked about SASNOC’s future plans, Faámausili said he thinks it’s a bit premature for S.A.S.N.O.C. to answer now, because they would like to see the structure of the possible Ministry of Sports before they begin to look at various ways to cooperate.
“There might be different structures that the government might be proposing, so far as the ministry is concerned,” he said.
“It might not be a ministry at all; we might just be a sports authority.”
“Whatever type of structure they come up with, I personally think S.A.S.N.O.C. will certainly cooperate with that organization that the government is now preparing.”
Faámausili also stated that this plan of dividing M.E.S.C. into two will definitely impact Sports in a positive way. “The priority will be on sports and now we have got an organization from the governments sector that is primarily focusing on sports,” he said.
“That means we now have something to work with, and if we have something to work with, and a goal and direction, we can achieve even greater performance rates.”
Asked about MESC in the past, Faámausili said that they found funding from the government was very limited due to expended.
He went on to say that with the Ministry of Sports and more resources, Samoa will be able to better support and develop our athletes.
“Sometimes we needed to negotiate some more (for funding),” Faámausili said about the current structure of M.E.S.C.
“But if the Ministry of Sports does come up, hopefully it will eventually, that means there will be more allocation of resources to it (sports), which means we can then work together in making sure that we develop and support our athletes.”
Faámausili also stated that it was very pleasing to note that that there have been a lot of changes in reference to sports in Samoa.
“We see a lot of organizations coming up with initiatives that are helping their own athletes, and that’s very pleasing,” he said. “There will be competitions and a lot of initiatives that will be coming and now with the government bringing in sports as well as SASNOC, it’s just a matter of coordinating all the sports development of this country.”