Commonwealth Youth Games Wraps Up In Samoa

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 13, 2015) – Now that the Commonwealth Youth Games is done and dusted, it is time to look ahead.
For that reason, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Magele Mauiliu Magele is optimistic about the future of sports in Samoa.

Speaking during a press conference to end the Games, Magele said having the elite young athletes from around the world in Samoa was a learning process for the locals.

“As a sporting nation, I think the fact that there are international teams (here) has helped our athletes,” said the Minister.

“Having athletes stand on the podium with the medals around their necks and listening to the national anthem I think that’s really captivated our people and I’m sure our young athletes would’ve been inspired to become better.”

Magele stressed that before any progress can be made, the locals need to strengthen their own selves first. “There is a lot of work to do in moving forward,” he pointed out.

“I think we can do it listening to athletes and coaches, Chef De Mission from overseas. We know what to do and that’s what I mean when I said I’d like to do a review of the whole games so we can know where to move forward, what our weaknesses are so athletes become the centre and not the Ministry of Sports or coaches…focus on athletes.”

He added that the games have also given an insight on local coaches learning from those with an international calibre.

The Minister noted that there will always be hurdles. “There have been challenges as well that make it difficult for us to meet the needs of every athlete,” said Magele.

“We did the best we could and the good thing for us is the young athletes tend to be more resilient.

We still need your candid and valid comments so that we can use that in the future.”

If there is one key element to the development of youth sports, it is getting the support from the government. The Minister was reassuring that that backing exists if there is a good partnership between the local sporting organisations and government. “That is why this country is so strong. The backing from the country is based on the understanding that the government and sporting body have that mutual relationship without interfering in how those bodies are run. The games reaffirm that at the end of the day we have to sit down and review where we are going to the future.”

One of the major benefits of having the Games held on home ground is the message that it gives out to the public. That message is for the community to be willing to choose a healthy lifestyle and utilise the facilities.

Copyright © 2015 Talamua. All Rights Reserved

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