Samoa has a delegation of 31 at the Pacific Games held over the next two weeks in Saipan and the President of Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC), Pauga Talalelei Pauga is confident Samoa will bring home medals from all five sports with participating athletes.
“Although the team are young, there is a good chance of winning medals,” said Pauga at the official farewell ceremony last week.
Pauga says his prediction is based on the teams’ preparations and he knows the young athletes have worked hard and ate well prepared.
“E le’o se faamaualuga ae e mafai ona ou faapea atu ona ua lava tapena alo ma fanau mo lenei faamoemoe.”
Team Samoa to the 2022 Mini Games consists of 31 athletes, coaches and management from Samoa, as well as overseas based athletes.
The Samoa Weightlifting Federation are featuring a strong contingency of 6 lifters, with a mix of experience and developing stars. Tuaopepe Asiata Jerry Wallwork’s world class athletes will undoubtedly shine at the Pacific Mini Games level.
Pacific Mini Games gold medalist Iuniarra Sipaia is part of the team, as well as 2022 Oceania Womens Junior Champion Gold Medalist, Faustina Opeloge as well as Oceania Junior Championship silver medalists Imoasina Pelenato and Avatu Opeloge. Tovio Ah Chong, who won an Oceania bronze medal in the 81kg men’s division after just six months of lifting, is also part of the team.
SASNOC President Pauga says there are many untapped opportunities in sports and offered encouragement to Samoa’s youth to pursue sports as an alternative career choice.
Pauga said to excel in sports, it is important to start our children at an early age.
“We hope to facilitate proper training for children wishing to participate in competition at the age group of 15 to 18 years, but it’s crucial for sports development to start children from a young age,” said Pauga.
“Afai ae iai ni fanau o loo fia maua lenei avanoa e tatau lava ona amata toleni mai a’o laititi e telē ai foi le avanoa e malamalama ai i se taaloga.”
Team Samoa will be contesting in Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Golf, Tennis, and Weightlifting.
The 11th Pacific Mini Games 2022 officially opened on Friday 17th June 2022. Team Samoa is overlooked by SASNOC to the Pacific Mini Games. Travelling with the team are President Pauga Tala Pauga, and Chef de Mission Sula Tagifano Soonalole Sam Chong leading the delegation. Henrietta Aviga Merciette is the Covid Officer and Osetatino Tuionetoa as the Sports Masseur.
On Thursday the Tennis tournament kicked off. Weightlifting will commence on Monday 20th June 2022, and the three remaining sports of Athletics, Beach Volleyball, and Golf will start next Tuesday 21st June 2022.