Athletics among sports benefitting from S.A.S.N.O.C. support

Athletics Samoa was honoured to receive equipment from the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee at a handover ceremony yesterday.

S.A.S.N.O.C. chief executive officer Tuala Mathew Vaea presented sporting equipment yesterday to representatives from Athletics Samoa, the Samoa Basketball Federation, and Samoa International Cricket Association.

Tuala said the handover was part of ongoing support to further develop sports in Samoa.

“These tools of the trade have been part of our asset register update for the new financial year.”

Athletics Samoa president Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt said receiving the equipment, including batons, discuses, shot puts, javelins and high jump bars, was very important.

“This is an indication that S.A.S.N.O.C. is really there for the national federations.

“Most of the equipment is kept by the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority and we don’t have access to it.”

He said finding facilities to train at ahead of the Pacific Games has been a challenge as well, with the ongoing renovations to Apia Park.

Currently the athletes are training at LDS Church College in Pesega and St Joseph’s College in Lotopa free of charge.

“We value the relationship we have with those schools,” Leiataualesa said.

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“It’s their contribution to the development of sports around here.”

He said they also use what’s available to them through nature.

“Hiking, running up the mountain - we improvise.

Athletics Samoa head coach Ah Chong Sam Chong said even just receiving the equipment would be like a gold medal to the athletes.

“I just can’t wait to go to the track and show it to the athletes, let them use it.”

He said most Samoans play other sports like rugby, but he wants to encourage them to try other sports like these instead.

“The shot put, javelin and discus, I would say are Islander fields because we have good, solid builds.”

He said he is working with some local athletes now who are getting there, and could win medals at the Pacific Games.

“The way they throw, it’s natural.”

At the end of February, close to 100 athletes from Athletics Samoa will travel to China for a training camp leading up to the Pacific Games. 

Leiataualesa said that is assistance they very much value.

“We are hoping to participate in any competition there as well, we have discussed that with them.”

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