The future is bright for students aspiring to become boxers.
This is largely thanks to a push by the government to incorporate boxing into the school extra curricular activities, with the launch of the inaugural Interschool Boxing Competition this week.
Yesterday at the Plantation Boxing gym, Sinamoga, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, walked the talk by providing the gear for the schools to develop the sport. The donation included boxing gloves, ropes and other necessary items for the sport.
The gesture was welcomed by the tournament’s coordinator, TuigamalaVa’aigaTuigamala.
“I think the school kids are very blessed to have a Minister that wants to encourage them to push through their dreams and to be successful,” Tuigamala said.
“He was very adamant that we can achieve greatness but he also understands that there is a lot of work to be done and to do that, these kids have to be given the opportunity with the equipment.
“He understands that there is talent there but talent is not enough, we need to build character.
We need to build strong discipline through the mental game.”
Tuigamala said the gear would elevate the playing field at the grassroots level, providing a solid foundation upon which boxing can base its plans.
Proper development, he believes, would give Samoa the chance to nurture the next generation of David Tuas, Joseph Parkers and Maselino Masoes to name a few.
“I think we need to do away with that poor man’s mentality and start believing we are good enough to compete with the rest of the world. And belief is a big thing, and it’s a mental thing.”
The excitement and the optimism does not stop with the government and Tuigamala.
The participants are just as excited and they can hardly wait.
Both Lika Tuigmamala and Paul Bourke of Robert Louis Stevenson agree that boxing can be used as an outlet to develop discipline.
They are raring and ready to go and can hardly wait until 7 October 2016 when the bell will go off for round one at Gym One, Tuanaimato.