Teleiai wants to set up Sports clinic, Physio school

A sports physio expert with twenty five years of experience is in Samoa hoping to set up a Sports Clinic and Physio School in the country.

Teleiai Aumauinuuese Puni, who is currently based in Hawai'i after leaving California, U.S.A. seven years ago, has approached the Samoa Rugby Union and Football Federation of Samoa in the hope of taking up strength and conditioning coaching roles with them.

Puni said he has always wanted to come back to Samoa, but just needed the opportunity to do so.

“Based on the four years being here back in 2004, what I’ve seen here is that our athletes are tremendous athletes," he said.

“But Samoa has the potential to be greater athletes than what we are now. We tear muscles, but we don’t recover muscles to allow them to perform.

“We have a lot of small injuries that happen in the school systems but they go unnoticed or unaware."

Puni said those simple injuries get neglected, and end up negatively impacting performance:

“I’m amazed at how our athletes here in Samoa are able to do stuff without proper care.

“In America we would have doctors all over you."

Puni has spent the last two weeks visiting the S.W.A. Samoa Weightlifting Team at their High Performance Centre in Tuanaimato.

“They’ve been pounding and pounding and pounding their bodies because of the massive amount of weight, but then they have no recovery system," he said.

Weightlifting coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork said Puni's presence and remote help has already complemented the programme, and performance would continue to improve if he stayed on.

“Injuries are always hindering what we’re trying to do, with him here now I think we’re in a good seat," Tuaopepe said.

“Not only weightlifting, but I think other sports should really tap into what he has, the experience and knowledge that he has, especially in recuperation and recovery and rehab."

Tuaopepe said some of his athletes that have carried niggling injuries for months have shown massive improvement since Puni arrived.

"Because they’ve been doing special exercises, special movements, certain treatments," he said

“For me, that’s 40% of the job done, if we can heal those injuries and recover and come back to the training I’m happy. Then I can do my job!"

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