Captain of the St Joseph’s College 70th Anniversary fautasi race says their win is dedicated to cancer awareness in Samoa.
Five longboats competed in the regatta; four men’s teams in School House Colours plus the all-female Fautasi o Toa captained by Vaimasenuu Zita Martel.
Named after Saints of the Catholic Church, the four rather competitive School House teams are; Green: Alfred & Deporres, Red: Dieter & Aquinas, Blue: Marcellin & Orleans and Yellow: Darnand & Avila.
Faimalo Sione Te’o captained the winning Green House fautasi of Alfred-Deporres that crossed the finish line first, just ahead of Zita Martel’s all-female fautasi.
Thousands of people lined the seawall to witness the Alfred-Deporres House fautasi, with its distinctive pink oars and Taula sponsored green t-shirts, slide into the Harbour to take the win of the much anticipated longboat regatta challenge between old pupils of St Joseph’s College.
Speaking to Samoa Global News after the race, Faimalo thanked God for giving him the knowledge and strength to lead Alfred-Deporres to victory.
Getting a little emotional as he spoke, Faimalo said he has been a skipper for three years, but this is the first time a fautasi he has captained, has won first place.
Faimalo says the crew used pink oars as their way of raising awareness for the early detection of cancer.
“We are planning to use part of the money from this win to donate to cancer; so you’ll see that that our oars have been painted green and pink”.
The SJC 70th anniversary celebrations continued through the weekend with a tausala night, Saturday sports day and a closing mass on Sunday.
Old pupils from all walks of life have come together and eagerly attended the various programs; with much interest and donations from overseas-based students unable to attend due to COVID-19 border restrictions.
Over the past decades since its establishment, the St Joseph College old boys and ex-pupils association has led ongoing development projects and initiatives for the benefit of the school, and today continue to work tirelessly on various initiatives needed to improve the quality of education for students.
Cancer Awareness Message:
Cancer is currently the second leading cause of death globally with a recent increase to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths.
In Samoa, cancer is the second highest killer after the cardiovascular diseases according to our National Health Statistics Report:
“Mortality is high because of the limited primary health care and cancer treatments and the lack of effective screening programs delay diagnosis at the stage where some cancers are easily treatable”.
“It is difficult to estimate the cost of cancer in Samoa but cost of health care for NCD’s in Samoa accounts for over 40% of the total health expenditure, mostly spent on clinical care”.