Touch player’s mission to help youth
National touch representative Etevise Siaosi Vaifale is hoping to use her selection to the squad for the Touch World Cup in Malaysia in April/May to benefit the youth of Samoa.
Siaosi (23) of the Titans club will make her debut for Samoa at the tournament.
She said the most important part of the trip for her would be observing and learning from the other nations at the tournament.
“Going outside to see different people and their skills and knowledge of how to play the game.”
Siaosi said she is still learning touch, and always looking to improve her own game.
She first had a go at the sport in 2013, and came back to it in 2016 when she joined Titans.
Siaosi said their club is about more than just sport, and her coach there and fellow national teammate Gabrielle Apelu is a great role model.
“She wanted us to become who we are, knowing we are valuable.
“Like a sister, not allowing other people to look down on us.”
Siaosi said at Titans the sport is just a tool, a vehicle they are using to reach young people.
That fits well with her work as a full-time volunteer missionary at YWAM: Youth With A Mission.
“There are a lot of things different things we are doing for the community, reaching out to the young people and the people of Samoa.
“Our purpose is to know god and make him known.”
She said sports is a good way to meet people and get to know them, which is why she plays soccer as well.
Siaosi said she would be proud to be a coach one day.
“This is why i want to learn all the sports, it will help me to help other people
She thinks Samoans don’t do so well on the international sporting stage because of their mindset.
“If we think low of ourselves, we know we are defeated already.”
She said it’s interesting being in the national team, with people coming together from different clubs.
“We need to work together and we need to be in unity.
“What makes a good team is unity, and what makes unity is humility.”
Money can be hard to come by for Siaosi, who doesn’t get paid for her work at YWAM.
She avoids asking people for money, trusting that God will provide.
“It’s miracles everyday.”
The touch team are all required to pay $6000 tala for the World Cup trip, which will be difficult for Siaosi, but she has faith.
She said just two weeks before the final trials, she was ready to give up
“I was so down, felt like I don’t want to do it at all.”
So Siaosi asked God to confirm she was going to the World Cup, and in the next few days three separate people reached out and encouraged her to train and she would make the squad.
She said the key to sporting sucess is balance, and you can’t just focus on the physical aspect
“My encouragement for everyone is to train physically, mentally and spiritually.”