9 April, 2019. Digicel Samoa hosted a special ceremony to welcome back Team Samoa who returned from the Abu Dhabi World Games with 8 medals and 4th place overall for the Women’s 7s team.
The Special Olympics World Games helps to change attitudes and and bream down barriers for persons with intellectual disabilities.
Telefoni Vincent Touli and Suitupe Kevin Faafua both received a Gold Medal each in their Bocce competitions with the third Gold medal scooped up by Puka Faautauta in Long Jump.
In the 200 meter run, Olivaseigafo Mavaega won silver and Ulafala Faletuai secured a bronze medal.
Digicel Chairman Fiaailetoa Pepe Christian Fruean reminded the gathering of the need to value the rights of special needs athletes and ensure they are given the same opportunities as everyone else.
“Special needs athletes have the same right to compete and strive for sporting glory just like anyone else,” he said.
“We must continue to support and encourage our special needs community to participate and continue to improve, so that we can do even better, and bring home more Gold medals in future games.”
He acknowledged the many people who helped to prepare the athletes and offer the support needed to prepare athletes and coordinate the administration and logisticsļ work required.
“Your success in Abu Dhabi is a testament of your National Pride and commitment towards representing your country at the international level;
“Thank you to the teachers, coaches, parents, guardians and support crew who made this happen;
“Without your willingness and drive, the training, the trip and the experience these athletes had would not have been possible,” added Fiaailetoa.
President of Special Olympics Samoa, Leta’a Daniel Devoe said he and everyone else are pleased with the performance of Team Samoa.
“Receiving medals and being able to place in these competitions is a feature not often obtained by athletes;
“We are very pleased with the outcome and the athletes are challenged to do much better, come the next World Games, God willing”, said Leta’a.
A long time supporter of Special Olympics Samoa Digicel had also come through this time by stepping in to support the team’s preparations towards the World Games with a sponsorship of $60,000 tala.