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Sailing away: Coach Vincent Peter says goodbye to Samoa

The man who stepped up to coach Samoa’s sailors to the 16th Pacific Games, Vincent Peter, is heading back to Poland after the weekend with his partner, Krystyna Wroblewska.

Peter applied for the volunteering role to coach the team earlier this year and arrived in Samoa on the 14th of April. He said the experience has been an eye opener.

“Coming here, I knew it would be different but it has definitely helped me to grow as person,” Peter said.

“It is such ha humble life lesson, to come to places like these where you can’t take things for granted, that everyone is so kind, there is no rat race.”

It is his first volunteering experience and has had plenty of time for self-reflection and determining the priorities for his life.

He said stepping out of the fast-paced working life of the west allowed him to look at it more critically and do something very challenging.

“Of course there have been moments when I thought what am I doing, they are so green, can we make it, but I am so proud that not only I didn’t quit, the team didn’t quit,” Peter said.

“There were a lot of times when they thought oh my God, this is so big, and they could have pulled out but they stayed and they practiced and they sailed the whole regatta which I think is a huge thing to take in life.”

He said in his short time here he knows sailing in Samoa needs a lot more support than it is getting today.

Sailing should be the most popular sport on the island, but is expensive and so people are not taking it up.

“Something I didn’t see here is sponsors, which maybe because in Samoa sailing is not as popular, hence no sponsors, but sailing should be the most popular,” he said.

“We are on an island.”

A bit more financial support to ensure Apia Yacht Club is fully equipped to welcome and coach young sailors would open doors to more people to pursue a sport other than rugby, said Peter.

“Hopefully more of them will like it, and they will be trying a different sport and winning medals for their country."

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