SSFA Visits China
The trip was an opportunity to create relationships and to enhance the friendship that Samoa and China has made in the area of Sport. Board members included, the Hon. Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, to whom SSFA directly report, Mrs. Vaolotu Liuga, Aufata Tofaeono, Toomaga Salapu, and our very own CO the Reverend, Dr Siaosi Salesulu. When they arrived in Singapore, the group were met by officials of the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Olympic committee. They were then taken on a viewing tour of all their sporting facilities which ranged from athletics, badminton, hockey, soccer and swimming, along with gymnasiums, media and changing rooms, venues that are to be used for the 2009 world junior Hockey championship. The Board Members were also VIP guests at the opening of the world junior championships, which made their trip all the more meaningful.
Another positive aspect was meeting with the competition manager, the venue directors and the various facilities mangers. The Singapore officials noted that Samoa had firmly established a working relationship with them and they were willing to assist Samoa with any of its immediate and long term needs as it prepares for the hosting of the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games. They also learned that Singapore is smaller in size than Samoa but it leads the way in facilities and competition. Part of the trip also included visiting the facilities at the Beijing Sports University, an excellent, reputable University and other sporting venues in China. A welcome dinner, hosted by Mr. Liu Peng The Honourable Minister of Sport and President of the Chinese Olympic Sports committee was held in their honour. Board Members were able to visit other venues including the renowned “birds nest” and the celebrated “water cube”.
Their hosts did much to make the group feel welcome, they even offered Samoa a place in the up coming Asian Youth Games, along with the offer of scholarships to the Beijing Sports University. This was indeed a worthwhile trip for members of the SSFA Board; great friendships were made and good relationships enhanced, it was a great experience to meet with the Singapore Olympic Officials and it allowed them to sample the impressive facilities of this relatively small nation.