Women contest key sporting roles

30 March 2017, 12:00AM

The Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee* (S.A.S.N.O.C) is holding its Annual General Meeting (A.G.M) today at 5pm. 

So what is so special about this AGM?

S.A.S.N.O.C elections are held every four years to coincide with the start of the new Quadrennial. The new committee will see their term through to the 2020 Japan Olympics.

In response to this push for increased women participation on the board, five women sports administrators have put up their hands to contest for the board positions.

Four of the nominees are nominated for Board positions and one will be contesting the Secretary General position, which has predominantly been held by males, with the exception of a short time during the days of the Samoa Sports Federation.

One of the key missions of I.O.C is Fostering gender equality and strengthening women’s participation in and through sport. 

Prior to the Sydney games, the I.O.C pushed for all N.O.Cs to have at least 20per cent of women on their boards. This was a struggle for most N.O.Cs. 

Recently, I.O.C has set a new target of 30per cent women representation on the N.O.Cs.

Narratively, there has been a certain reluctance by women to head the NFs citing many familial and work obligations. 

In the past quadrennial, there has been a noticeable shift in this trend as more women, have undertaken training and feel more confident to step up to head their respective sports and by default are then eligible to contest the N.O.C elections. We profile the women below:


Kerriemoana Punivalu

She is currently the General Secretary for Swimming and is President Elect. She is also a highly respected member of F.I.N.A, the International Ruling Body for Swimming. Kerrie is also a current board member of S.A.S.N.O.C.

Kerriemoana is a successful businesswoman and a long time sports administrator with extensive knowledge and experience at International, National and Regional levels to offer leadership and guidance to other sports.

She firmly believes that “to be the face of change, you must help make that change”. 

She would like to see our N.O.C “fully embrace” the power of sport, through equal opportunities, not only as an Elite or Career pathway, but as a lifestyle available for all people of all levels and all ages.


Sala Stella Siale – Vaea Tangitau

Sala is currently the General Manager for Samoa (International) Cricket. 

Besides her many academic achievements, Sala is also an O.S.E.P Master Educator, Member of Samoa Women in Sports Commission, member of Sports Sector Advisory Committee to S.Q.A and member of the Board of Trustee for Leadership Samoa Programme.

She is currently studying for her Executive Masters in Sports Organisation Management (MEMOs) with the University of de Louvain, Belgium, through the I.O.C, after successfully completing her Advance Diploma of Sports Organisation Management (MOSO IV) in 2015.

Sala is very strong in Leadership and Good Governance and would like to share those experiences with all her other skills and attributes to make positive changes within the N.Fs and N.O.C. 

“I strongly believe that having a strong platform and career pathways for our athletes to grow and advance to, will eventually benefit our communities, families and our country. It will require strong competent leaders with unselfish agendas to make this work,” she said.


June Langton

June is currently the Vice President for Tennis Samoa. She is a Professional Tennis Coach and a former National Representative player.

Besides her tennis duties, June also operates a number of businesses in Apia.


Rosemary Esera

Rosemary Esera is currently Netball Samoa’s C.E.O. 

She is the Chairperson of the Sports Sector Advisory Committee to S.Q.A and a Board member of the Samoa Sport Facilities Authority.


Nynette Sass

Nynette is currently, Chairman for Samoa Women in Sports Commission (S.W.I.S.C); President for Samoa Badminton Federation, Vice President for Samoa Sailing Association. 

She is a Regional Master Educator and Consultant with Oceania Sports Education Programme (O.S.E.P). She co-topped the Advance Diploma of Sports Organisation Management in 2015 for Oceania. 

She is also a Mediator with the Ministry of Justice.

Nynette is contesting the position of Secretary General. She believes that the Sec. Gen position is the “engine room” of the organisation.

“I bring to this engine room strong work ethics; commitment; strong administrative experience; visionary and strategic thinking; innovative and creative problem solving; inclusive leadership that is strong in Good Governance and willingness to work hard. Additionally I bring integrity and empathy to the organisation.

“With a strong S.A.S.N.O.C leadership, I see in the future, a robust, pro-active, collaborative and professional organisation that leads the development of sports in Samoa. I see an organisation that is a true partner for economic growth through sports.

“Ultimately, I would like to see our N.O.C being far more responsive to our Membership needs and providing the support that will facilitate their growth and performance. ”


* S.A.S.N.O.C is one of 215 Member National Olympic Committee (N.O.C) members of the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C). It is one of the 17 members of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (O.N.O.C).

30 March 2017, 12:00AM

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