The preparation of Samoa’s weightlifters for the upcoming Oceania and New Zealand Championships in Auckland has been boosted by $20,000 tala handed to them by the National Bank of Samoa.
The National Bank of Samoa has supported Samoa’s weightlifters in the past and a further $20,000 tala was presented on Friday morning at the Banks headquarters in Apia.
The sponsorship aids in preparations for the Oceania Youth, Junior & Senior Championships in Auckland, from February 21st to 25th.
President and Head Coach of Samoa’s most successful sports team says the support by the National Bank of Samoa has boosted the morale of the team, who are now more encouraged to not only win gold for Samoa, but come away with more team members qualified for the Paris Olympics.
“Ua saga faalototeleina ai pea le au taa’alo, ina ia ausia se tulaga lelei, e lē gata o se pine auro, ae o se avanoa e mafai ai ona agavaa (qualify) le tatou au mo le taamilosaga siisii a le Olimipeka i Farani.”
Tuaopepe thanked NBS for the ongoing partnership and support and announced that the team of 10 athletes heading to New Zealand next week will take the National Bank of Samoa brand with them.
“This team will be named, National Bank of Samoa – Samoa Weightlifting Team,” said Tuaopepe. “We acknowledge and thank the National Bank of Samoa, the name behind the nation’s Weightlifting Team.”
The National Bank of Samoa was represented by Chief Financial Officer Peseta Peter Tone, who presented the $20k tala cheque and spoke on behalf of the bank.
“NBS once again proudly announces another sponsorship for our Samoa Weightlifting team. It is an honour to partner with the team renowned as our nation’s most accomplished athletes,” said Peseta.
“This is an important event for the Samoa Weightlifting Team and we’re proud to be naming sponsors for a competition that will be a pivotal qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“NBS is thrilled to join Team Samoa Weightlifting on their journey towards the 2024 Olympics,” added Peseta.
Two of Samoa’s lifters have already qualified for the Paris Olympics. Don Opeloge and Iuniarra Sipaia both officially QUALIFIED for Paris in September 2023 following the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in Saudi Arabia.
The partnership with NBS helps towards funding of Samoa’s participation to international events and
Team Samoa departing for New Zealand:
* Seine Stowers – 71kg
* Vatu Opeloge – 76 kg
* Lesila Fiapule – 81 kg
* June Sipaia – 81+kg
* Vaipava Nevo Ioane – 66kg
* Tovio Ah Chong 81kg
* Maeu Nanai Livi – 81kg
* John Tafi – 71 kg
* Don Opeloge 104 kg
* Sanele Mao – 105kg
The Management will be led by Head Coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, with Ele Opeloge, Toafitu Perive, Hitila Tuuamalii Opeloge and Ola Salimu.