Celebrating extraordinary women

By Vatapuia Maiava 17 April 2016, 12:00AM

‘Because we can.’ 

That was the theme of an extraordinary night of celebration for young women (and the not so young) on Friday night.

The occasion was the prizegiving of the Digicel Extraordinary Women’s Challenge (D.E.W.C) 2016 at the Le Manumea Hotel, Vailima.

The D.E.W.C which took extremely dedicated women through sports such as: Athletics, Shot-put, Lawn Bowls, Outrigger Canoeing and Squash proved that Women are too tough to just stay in the kitchen simply ‘because they can’. The closing event was attended by many inspirational men and women with one of them being Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.

 “I believe we are making progress in our sporting endeavors under S.A.S.N.O.C. They however are only as good as their member sports and like any other undertaking performance is the measure of success.

“Success on the field and success in the board rooms; we all come to sports from different perspectives; players, athletes, coaches and other specialists, officials, administrators and board members; sponsors and fans.”

Fiame applauded the concept.

“In returning to the work of the Samoa Women in Sports Commission, the focus on women and girls is warranted,” she said.

“I look forward to following your endeavors to further promote and encourage women in sports.

“In reviewing the documentation of this particular event I did take note of the guiding I.O.C pillars and the purposes of the 5 sports in the 1 month challenge in which we are now celebrating the culmination tonight.

“I was particularly taken by the words that describe the attributes gained through these sports; the words precision, speed, coordination, strength, endurance. These attributes that sports builds, they are however attributes that takes us through life and challenges that we face.”

Words of inspiration were also offered to the upcoming sports stars. “To you participating athletes, be aware of your sporting environment around you; do what you have to do to be the best player or athlete; but understand all the other elements,” Fiame said. “Today you are athletes; tomorrow you might be sports administrators or a leader at the governance level.

“Sports exercises our muscles but don’t forget to exercise your brain muscle, it does make a difference; use it to hone your talent, use it to make your connections, use it to raise to standards of sports in Samoa….. Don’t keep it to yourself, articulate and communicate.”

For two young women who took up the challenge, Leata Esekia from Vaitele-Uta and Selina Silva from Aleisa, they still had the excitement of D.E.W.C radiating from them.

“This programme was amazingly fun and I made a lot of friends along the way; we pushed each other to make it to the end and to not give up,” they said.

“I wouldn’t have been able to finish the tough sports without my new friends; if anyone wants to join next year then just know that you will have the best time learning new sports as well as meeting new faces. “our favorite sport in the challenge was outrigger canoeing, and our highlight was meeting new friends.” After all the formalities were out of the way everyone enjoyed the buffet dinner and good company.

By Vatapuia Maiava 17 April 2016, 12:00AM

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