Australian boxing supremo gives Samoa thumbs up

Australian boxing supremo Ted Tanner has labelled Samoa the most active hub for sports in the Pacific. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer recently during the 2019 XVI Pacific Games boxing tournament in Savai’i, the current Oceania Boxing Confederation President said the country is currently the region’s most active hub for sport.

“Samoa is really becoming quite the center for sports in the Pacific, as I have said I have been to Samoa a few times now,” he said.

“Not only for other big qualification events but also for Oceania championships, we had the Commonwealth Youth Games and of course the Pacific Games, so Samoa is in my opinion, is the most active sport hub in the Pacific.”

The decision by the Samoa Government to host the Games boxing tournament in Savai’i is also a masterstroke according to Mr Tanner, as it showed inclusivity with the rest of Samoa. 

Mr Tanner said he has visited Samoa numerous times before, but being in Savai’i for the first time was a wonderful experience for him. 

“Well it’s (been) terrific. I must say that I’ve been to Samoa many times but it is the first time I’ve been to Savai’i and it is wonderful. They’re very welcoming and the facilities that they’ve provided are excellent, but the greatest thing for me is the hospitality and friendliness of the people.”

Asked for his opinion on boxing in general in the Pacific and the performances of Samoan boxers so far, Tanner said the Pacific Game continues to improve.

“It is definitely on a pick upward trend,” he said. “If I compare it to 20 years ago it made a big jump and the Game is on another level. It’s continuing to improve. Many of the boxers now too have now competed in Australia, New Zealand and other countries, so they know the standard of fitness and the skills that are involved. The coaches too have lifted the standard on how the game is done.”

He has also given Samoa thumbs up for having dental clinic at the venue, which he said was an innovative decision. 

“Having dental clinic at the venue is quite an innovation,” he said. “In Australia, we pay particular attention to our boxers to make sure that we have dentists molded and prepared mouth guards to look after their teeth. And it’s not just their teeth of course, but also the ability for them to breathe so it’s amazing to have and see that here in the Games."

Mr Tanner is also a former president of the Australian Boxing Federation or Boxing Australia. 

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