Weightlifters from five different Pacific nations are in Samoa and there could be five more by the end of the year.
They are not here to compete but to make use of the training facilities and train with Samoan weightlifters who have been creating waves on the international scene.
This is a group of 16 weightlifters including men and women from the Republic of Mashall Island, Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu who are in Samoa to train together in preparation for the Pacific Games and other upcoming events such as the Olympic Games next year that will take place in Paris, France.
The trainings are being facilitated by Samoa’s own Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork.
Samoa’s performance at the recent Oceania Championships in Melbourne was captivating where Don Opeloge shattered a Commonwealth record.
In an interview with Samoa Observer on Wednesday, Tuaopepe said this initiative will surely upgrade the standard of Samoa’s weightlifters’ performance as the facility in Tuanaimato will be treated as the Oceania Centre of Weightlifting High-Performance training.
“This centre was for our own local weightlifters. However, the great improvement and the achievements of our stars attracted many weightlifters from other islands to join us and train together with us,” he said.
“This is just the start, and it is the first group that arrived towards the end of last year and we are looking at hosting more than 40 people as there are weightlifters from Australia and other teams from the developed world including China and Russia that have recognised Samoa’s center as the best environment for weightlifting trainings.
“In that way, it will be helpful as there will be competitions every day, which is good for the development of our local team.”
Samoa Weightlifting Federation aims to let Samoa’s center be recognised by the International Weightlifting Federation and the International Olympic Committee so that it could become the hub of the sport in the Oceania region.
Every trainee from other countries has to follow the rules set by Samoa Weightlifting Federation to ensure the effectiveness of this programme and that everyone is on the same page. Around 10 countries will be part of this initiative by the end of this year.
According to Tuaopepe, each overseas team wants to camp at the at Tuanaimato for the whole year and it is a good opportunity to bring the world together in unity.
He explained that if many countries will be involved, new equipment will be needed for the trainings. The coach is certain that once this centre is recognised by the world, there will be assistance and aid to help provide new materials.
Tuaopepe thanked the Government of Samoa for the provision of the facility and the equipment, as well as funding the preparations for international games, as well as their sponsors and partners who have always helped the team in terms of financial assistance. He also acknowledged the support from the parents and families of those who represent Samoa in this sport.