Netball Samoa finds new happy home
Netball Samoa have found the more permanent home they have been looking for since 2012, when Tropical Cyclone Evan hit their Apia Park headquarters.
Since then, the federation had been renting an office space in Lotopa, while running programmes at whatever gym they could hire at the time.
As of the start of December, Netball Samoa moved into an office at the Multi-Sport Complex at Tuana'imato, where they have already held tournaments since the facility was built for the Pacific Games in July.
“It’s always been in the pipeline that we would either redo that [Apia Park] building, or just see what was available [as a permanent home]," said Netball Samoa C.E.O. Rosemarie Lome.
She said Netball Samoa worked with the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority (S.S.F.A.) on securing a space right from when plans were coming together for the Pacific Games venues.
“It’s been a work-in-progress for a long time, but we’re really happy that we’ve been able to have positive discussions with S.S.F.A.," Lome said.
Netball Samoa rent the office from S.S.F.A. at a rate Lome said was more than what they paid at Lotopa, but less than what a similar space would cost in town.
They are able to do so thanks to funding from the Australian Government's Pacific Netball Partnership.
However Netball Samoa have to hire the Multi-Sport Complex gym space just like anyone else, including the indoor courts and outdoor purpose-built netball courts.
Lome said what S.S.F.A charge for their use is determined on a case-by-case basis.
“When it’s for our development programmes, they’re very very accommodating," she said.
For those sorts of programmes and things like national team practices, Lome said S.S.F.A. tend to waive their hireage fees since the purpose of their use is not to make a profit, unlike with a recreational tournament that players pay to enter.
Thus far, Netball Samoa are the only tenants in the venue's office spaces.
“We’ve taken this big step in coming here, it’s a financial undertaking for Netball Samoa," Lome said.
But she thinks it was a necessary move, and the long-term benefits should outweigh the costs.
“We’re really happy to be here.
“Without having a permanent place, like what we had in Apia Park, it really has proven that having a hub is so important.
“I didn’t think that at first, but having that meeting place where everyone of all ages, of all levels, for competitive and recreational come.
“I’m hoping that will generate, and bring back that momentum and interest that we had back then."