Minister calls for teamwork

By Lanuola Tupufia-Ah Tong 24 November 2016, 12:00AM

The Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, has urged the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee and the Samoa Leadership Group 2015 to work together. 

Loau made the call in light of S.A.S.N.O.C. and Samoa Leadership hosting separate Sports Award. Whereas S.A.S.N.O.C staged theirs earlier this year, the Leadership Samoa Class of 2015 is planning their event next month.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Minister Loau said the events both have good intentions.

But he suggested that organizers should work to develop one main Sports Awards.

“I guess there is nothing wrong with the initiative (from Samoa Leadership) that they want to celebrate achievements of sports people,” said Loau. 

“S.A.S.N.O.C also had similar event and I can see the idea behind the events. 

“If (events) has the support of the public, business community and government then it’s not a bad thing. But maybe they can merge and have one big event for sports award.”  

Loau said it would be too late now to stop the event as it has already been organised.

But he said it’s an idea the groups can think about for next year.

During a recent interview with the Leadership Samoa 2015 spokesperson, Sioeli Alofaifo explained they had invited all sporting bodies to be part of their sports awards. 

But some sporting bodies declined to take part because the event has not been endorsed by S.A.S.N.O.C. 

Mr. Alofaifo said the event was not about them but the athletes and administrators. 

 “This is not about the search for power or glory,” he said. 

“We just aim to do something good for our athletes and the sports they represent. The main reason is to have as many organisations as we can on board to support and recognise the work done by our athletes who are competing and putting Samoa’s name on the map.

“Not only that but to create incentives to motivate them to look forward to and to have a little bit of money to help them out at the end of the year.”

At the beginning of the year, S.A.S.N.O.C’s President, Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai said he had some reservations about the project from Leadership Samoa. 

He confirmed they were approached by the group about their initiative “but at the time S.A.S.N.O.C was already in the planning stages of reviving its sports awards. 

“My reservation with the request was that it was a one off exercise then it would be dormant again,” he said. 

“The matter was raised at our Board meeting and it was decided that S.A.S.N.O.C does its own sports awards and this was held on 16 April this year. 

“We have also set a date for the next sports awards next year, which will be on 18 March 2017 and the idea is we honour and celebrate the achievements of our athletes, coaches and sports administrators every year and not on a one off basis.”

According to Fepuleai it would be inappropriate for S.A.S.N.O.C. to endorse a sports awards bearing in mind that they too will be hosting a similar event. 

“We have decided that it better be left with each National Sports Federation to make their own decision whether to submit their nominations or not,” he said. 

“After all, the letters inviting nominations from Leadership Samoa were addressed to the National Federations and at the end of the day, S.A.S.N.O.C as the governing body of sports in this country is the appropriate body to run these sports awards.”

By Lanuola Tupufia-Ah Tong 24 November 2016, 12:00AM

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