SWA Sponsorship Lifts Funding Burden Off Weightlifters

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  • National Weightlifting coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork
    National Weightlifting coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork

Deidre Fanene

The Samoa Water Authority has stepped in to be the Samoa Weightlifting Federation’s naming rights sponsor.

Weightlifting coach, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork told Newsline that it has been a blessing having SWA support.

 Now they are able to participate in all the much needed tournaments in order for Samoa to qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic.

He added appreciation also to the government, stepping in most of the times to fund their competitions and their trips to overseas when it is needed.

“Without SWA and the Government this year we could never achieve what we have achieved,” said Tuaopepe.

“We’ve won gold medal at the world championship, we have dominated a lot of competitions that we have participated in and even now we are still improving.

“To go to tournaments was very expensive even the government alone cannot afford to keep giving money to us for every competition but we must go to these competitions.

“So to me this is the first time in 40 years that Weightlifting has a sponsor that has stood behind us and they will take us to where we need to go to all competitions.”

Coach Tuaopepe said now that they have someone to step in to support them in everything, it is only right for him to as the Coach to put their major sponsor’s name in the team.

“The name of the federation is SWA Samoa Weightlifting Federation, it is only right to put the name of our naming rights sponsor in our federation because without them our lifters would not be able to participate in the much needed competitions that helps us get into the Olympic next year,” he said.

Tuaopepe added, that without a sponsor can be major setback for the team and also for him as the coach.

“There is a huge impact because what will happen is we won’t be able to properly prepare because there are no funds,” he said.

“To be honest it is my personal funds that I have been using for these competitions but I cannot continue doing it all the time but I have done it for 20 years.

“We need the funds to prepare and we need the funds to prepare and on top of that we need these athletes to keep competing at this kind of competition that we have participated at in Peru.

“We were able to go to the Arafura Games, the World Championships and this is the first time we were able to take 4 lifters at this tournament first time in history because our sponsor has made it possible for us to participate.

“So there is a huge impact if there is no sponsor, and once we don’t have a sponsor then we go back to square one.

“So that’s why I want to acknowledge especially the support of the Samoa Water Authority and the government for always supporting us.”

SWA stepped in to be Weightlifting’s sponsor in March and they are alternating with the government in supporting the most successful sport in Samoa.

“With SWA’s funding they are also helping us with preparations and camping of the team I mean all the expenses of camping, supplements, uniforms, training gear  and that expenses is a lot and a lot of people don’t know this because it is behind the scene but those are expensive,” said Tuaopepe.

“Just as long as we are appealing for the funds that they are giving and just as long as we give them everything and show them where their funds are going they are happy to keep sponsoring us.

“I see that this is a very successful partnership with SWA and I’m hoping we could carry on till next year.”

“I think they saw that weightlifting is the most successful sport after the Pacific Games and so they decided to step in and help us.

 “So I can truly say that SWA has been a blessing for the Weightlifting and up till now they are still backing us up and I’m hoping that it will continue on in years to come.

“They are also supporting us with the China trip next month.”