Athletics’ president steers new course

The Samoa Athletic Incorporated has elected a new President; he is Tuala Tommy Stancil, the former Vice President.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Tuala said he has a lot on his plate at the moment especially with the development of athletics in Samoa. “This is a huge challenge and a task ahead of me.”

He said there is so much that needs to be done for the sport and its development from the grassroots upwards.

“We will be looking at ways to send our athletes overseas for scholarships to further their training and their knowledge of sports development.”

Tuala said that this is not all that he is thinking about.

“Another area that I am looking at is to bring in more international sports competitions here to Samoa to utilise our facilities, our track and the field down at Apia Park,” he said.

“I also am looking at bringing in the World Masters Athletes in Samoa because it will be good for our economy and our tourism industry.

“So not only for the sport but I am also thinking of the benefits to the country if we are to bring in these people.

“We also need to make better use of our facilities at Apia Park because now they are just sitting there and we have to do something with them.

“The last time we used the park was last year at the Commonwealth Youth Games, so we have to make use of the money that was spent for the renovation of that field.

“Coming into this new position there’s a lot of challenges and opportunities to look at for the development of athletics.”

Tuala said he is only focusing on two projects at the moment before moving along to other matters.

“I want to ensure the track and field is included in the school curriculum from Primary level up to Tertiary level,” he said.

“This should be part of the curriculum because this is one way that we can develop the sport.

“I mean how do they expect our children to be good at the sport if they don’t put it in the curriculum to practice it every day?

“They say practise makes perfect but we are not practicing the athletic sports so we cannot be good at something that we do not practise every day.”

Another project that Tuala wants to look at is to bring athletics out into the community.

“I want to bring track and field out in the community in the rural areas. This will happen in the next two weeks because I will be heading to Savaii to start that up,” he said.

“These are some of the things that I am working on so hopefully these can be done so we can move on.”

The position was decided on in the last week of May. Tuala took over from Luaatua Semi Epati who did not seek to stand for the position again.

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