In response to athlete, Jeremy Dodson

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Dear Editor,

I wanted to say something when I read this person’s former letter, but was asked not to. However, why should I keep silent when he sees fit to spill out any rubbish he feels like? 

He should apologise because he was asked to substantiate his accusations and implications, but couldn’t so now he comes up with this “apologise to Samoa” nonsense to deflect from the fact his words cannot be backed up with names and evidence as rightfully requested. 

Did you try to slander Samoa, no? so why apologise to Samoa? 

Apologise to those you meant to belittle. 

You live in the States, have been to Samoa a couple of times and suddenly you feel you can speak on behalf of Samoans? 

Don’t kid yourself! 

You have that arrogant, patronising manner people in Samoa who live here, pay taxes here and keep this country functioning are honestly sick of. 

Just because you have a bit of Samoan blood, doesn’t give you the right to speak for or be a mouthpiece for Samoans living in Samoa. 

If there are people in Samoa who want to say something then they are intelligent enough to do so and can put their name to it if it is true. 

What every Samoan living in Samoa does know is that overseas-born Samoans come to represent Samoa only when they can’t make it in their country of birth so spare us your reasons. 

There is nothing wrong with overseas-born Samoans representing our country if their birth country doesn’t want them, but remember Samoa decides who can represent our country and above all remember IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO REPRESENT SAMOA, NOT A RIGHT! 

Also, remember this is a poor country so don’t expect any pampering, big allowances or fancy equipment, etc. 

What Samoa provides you with is the chance to showcase yourself in Games you would never be able to get to because you can’t make the criteria in your birth country. 

It is up to you to shine, stand out and maybe get a contract from richer countries and have access to bigger opportunities as many have, especially through rugby. 

You have to excel and if you don’t, it is your own fault. If you get in the habit of blaming everything and everyone else if you can’t make it then you will always be a failure in life!  

Now the dumbest thing out of your mouth is you expect officials to be housed in the athletes’ village and eat the same food as the athletes. 

You seem to want Samoan officials to do this, but no country does. 

Do American officials live in the athletes’ village during the Olympic Games or any Games or do they stay in big hotels paid for as well? 

Would you complain to them like you have about Samoan officials? 

No way, you wouldn’t have the guts nor would they care about anything you had to say. 

I am sure they would say if you are not happy representing your country then move aside and let someone else come in who is waiting and has the heart and will to give all for their country. 

But wait, Samoa isn’t your country, but the States is so maybe that is the problem here. 

Finally, for your benefit and anybody out there my husband Patrick who is the President of S.A.S.N.O.C does not get paid for his position. 

He only gets a stipend when he goes overseas for a meeting or any Games. Only people who are employed full time are paid. 

My husband is a successful lawyer and I have my own business so we have our own income which allows my husband to be able to give a lot of his time freely for S.A.S.N.O.C. with no monetary returns expected or asked for. 

Why, because he has always been a sports person. 

Come see all the medals and cups in our house. He represented Samoa successfully for years in the sports of golf. For absolutely no pay and using his own money and time, for many years and as a busy lawyer, he still gave his time to start and run a junior programme which produced some young talented girls and boys who represented Samoa as everyone in golf knows. Then some people who ran the Club at that time and thought they could do better told him they can take over and won’t need him anymore. 

Find out where we are with representative golf in Samoa these days?! 

Patrick has taken his passion for golf and love of sports to the S.A.S.N.O.C  and has fully committed himself to his job as President (gets no pay and it takes him away from his law firm)  because that is how he operates. 

He has excellent managerial skills, treats those around him with respect and is well respected in this community. 

When he went into S.A.S.N.O.C overseas funds were frozen because accounts were way behind. A lot has changed for the better since he has taken over, but he won’t blow his own horn so I will because I know him and all I can say is S.A.S.N.O.C is fortunate to have him because he didn’t go in for any personal agenda. 

The staff at S.A.S.N.O.C are all working hard too. Why don’t you move to Samoa and do something like start a junior programme for young athletes? 

You won’t get paid, but I am sure that wouldn’t bother you so will you do that for Samoa? 

What we need is people who don’t judge and criticize from afar, but those who will actually come to Samoa, live here and contribute to the development of Samoa whether in sports or other fields. 

Talk is cheap! 

Samoa has given you the chance to represent it when you couldn’t make it in the States so what will you give back to Samoa besides mouth off unsubstantiated criticisms of those who do live here and who are actually doing something constructive for Samoan sports and have given plenty to this country while you, well you will no doubt live in the United States, your country and probably give back to athletics there.

 

Afamasaga Elaine Fepulea’i

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