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S.A.S.N.O.C. training team managers to put spotlight on athletes

The Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.) are working to upskill sports team managers through a two-and-a-half day capacity building course.

The course, which began on Wednesday is offered as part of the Oceania Sports Education Programme, and programme mentor Talemo Waqa is in Samoa to help deliver it along with S.A.S.N.O.C.’s own chief executive officer Tuala Mathew Vaea and chef de mission Nynette Sass, both qualified educators under the Oceania National Olympic Committee programme.

Ten national sports federations are taking part to better their management skills, and each participant will make a presentation to the group on the final day.

S.A.S.N.O.C. are looking to make it a compulsory course for managers to attend in order for them to manage teams at multi-sport events such as the Olympic, Commonwealth and Pacific Games.

The Team Samoa management structure for such an event consists of a chef de mission, assistant managers and medical staff across all sports, then sports-specific managers responsible to each code.

In his opening address to the course participants, S.A.S.N.O.C. president Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai said it is all for the athletes.

“They are the most important part and the focus of all of this,” he said.

“As managers, we need to deal with all the logistics, training venues and schedules etc, and this all contributes to the success of our athletes and our team.”

He said changes have been and have to be made from the way things used to be, with the managers themselves as central figures:

“The athletes were the busboys – ‘hey go make my coffee, go to the shop and buy my cigarettes’.”

Team Samoa managers will have the chance to put the learnings into practice at the Tokyo Olympics in July, for which five Samoan athletes have already qualified.

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