Senese receive $20,000 equipment donation

Senese Inclusive Education was recently the recipient of $20,000 funding assistance for sporting equipment courtesy of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

A teacher at the special education facility, Puaseisei Seve, had applied to the Japanese Government’s development cooperation arm for assistance upon her return from a visit to Japan.

The funding assistance enabled the purchase of equipment that included 48 folding chairs; 48 rackets; four table tennis; 12 Takkyu volleyballs and five blind football balls.

Ms. Seve was nominated and endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Samoa’s representative to participate in the J.I.C.A. Knowledge Co-Creation Program.

Her participation was part of capacity building on “Promotion of Social Participation of Persons with Disability through Sports” with participants from 11 other countries in 2019.

The J.I.C.A. Resident Representative Akihiko Hoshino expressed his gratitude and acknowledged Ms. Seve’s determination and desire through her Action Plan, which strived not only to introduce the two new sports in Samoa but also strongly promote the participation of people with disabilities through sports.

“I hope that through the knowledge she obtained in Japan will assist in promoting sports participation of people with disabilities, and developing the two new sports in Samoa to help bring people together,” he said in a J.I.C.A. statement.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Ms Seve said her journey in Japan during the course of the program promoted Social participation of persons with disabilities through sports.

“Despite the fact that I was there as a representative of Senese but I represented Samoa during the program and I was one of the 11 representatives from other countries including Tunisia, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Russia Egypt, Thailand, El Salvador, Senega, P.N.G., Vanuatu and Samoa.” 

She said during the course of her program there were five different sport courses she underwent which included wheelchair basketball, blind football, boccia, flying disc, and takkyu volley.

In addition to the programme, they also conducted workshops as a result of action plans for the said sports.

Ms. Seve said in a statement that she had no knowledge of Takkyu volley sport until she was in Japan.

“I had no idea what Takkyu volley was before I went to Japan. I had never heard of it before until I got there.”

While in Japan Ms. Seve also had the opportunity to participate in the Amateur Cup Takkyu Volley Tournament in Kyoto City.

“It was a really big tournament and it was there that I saw how inclusive this sport is,” she said.

“I was amazed with many people coming together to compete, socialize and have fun – people with and without disabilities”.

Senese is currently in the process of scheduling rollout training in both Upolu and Savai’i to promote the two new sports as an educational tool to bring everyone together – meaning people with disability and people without disability.

“In fact sport is education, sport is health, sport is friendship, and sport is life. Thus, sport can bring everyone together”, said Ms. Seve.

“When I was in Japan, the aim of the Japan Takkyu Volley Federation is to promote takkyu volley to the Special Olympic Games and the Paralympics Games.

My goal and if it happens in the future, hopefully we have a team from Samoa to compete in these competitions”.

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