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The “2013 Camps of Troy Polamalu” football and volleyball clinics for high school teams as well as  for coaches and officials, will begin next week, Tuesday, July 2 and continue until Friday, July 5 (including 4th of July).


The trip marks the second time the Troy and Theodora Polamalu Foundation has sponsored camps in the territory, and the volleyball clinics this year are as big as the football clinics. It will basically follow the format of the 2012 camps — free community concert included — with a focus on “improving the standards of preparation, play and officiating in local high school football and volleyball.”


The football camp will be held at the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, while the volleyball camp will be at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) gymnasium. The public is invited to observe the camps (but is prohibited on the field or court).


Separate clinics will involve local coaches and officials in classroom settings.


Samoa News understands Polamalu wants the camps to be the focus of this year's program and is reluctant to spend time away from the student athletes while the camps are in session from Tuesday to Friday.


He has also asked the local high schools to showcase their talents in Samoan performance, and as a result the ASDOE has organized a high school siva ma pese competition for Saturday, July 6. The Troy and Theodora Polamalu Foundation is providing $10,000 in prize money. The event will be judged by Samoan football players visiting from overseas.


A free concert will immediately follow the siva ma pese competition at the Stadium Saturday evening, July 6. The featured performers are Fiji, Adeaze and The Levites, while Lapi Mariner will be the emcee. Public Safety Officers will strictly enforce a no-alcohol, no bottle ban on concert-goers.


The Foundation also sponsored a local competition that sought a local ‘logo’ for the 2013 camps, and a student at Nu’uuli VocTech High School —Elienai Tauasosi won. The student will receive a $500 prize during Polamalu’s visit. (Samoa News has rerun the logo graphics on its Editorial page, crediting the local artist - pg 4)


In a media release from the local organizers of the “2013 Camps of Troy Polamalu”, it’s noted that the camps and concert are joint productions of Troy Polamalu, his guests, the Troy and Theodora Polamalu Foundation and the ASDOE/ASHSAA.


The group is arriving Monday, July 1 and includes almost 100 individuals. The list, which will be published later this week, is a who's who of Samoan footballers at the collegiate and professional level.


Besides bringing down his own family, Steelers team-mate and Pro Bowler Ryan Clark and about 10 other Samoan NFL players, Troy has recruited about 50 other football coaches and officials (including Shannon Eastin, the first and only female referee in the NFL) to be part of the group conducting football combines, training sessions and scrimmages for about 400 players on seven high school football teams.


Navy Football head coach Ken Niumatalolo is part of the group. Ziggy Ansah, who was picked #5 in the recent NFL draft, is coming, as are Samoan football heroes like Jesse Sapolu, Manu Tuiasosopo, Kennedy Pola, Jonathan Fanene, Shaun Nua, Vince Manuwai, Mike Iupati, Reagan Mauia, and many others.


The visitors also include about a dozen volleyball players and coaches, including Lindsey Berg, captain of the silver medalist USA Women’s Volleyball Team at the 2010 London Olympic Games, and her Olympics team-mate, Logan Tom of Hawaii. Gonzaga Volleyball Coach (and Hawai’i legend) Allen Allen is coming, too. About 150 high school players are planning to participate in the clinics at ASCC’s gym.


The Troy and Theodora Polamalu Foundation is sponsoring almost every aspect of the trip, including airfares, local transportation, accommodations, meals, and many other costs that will be incurred by the large visiting contingent.


Extensive support is being provided by the Athletics Program at the Department of Education, and the American Samoa High School Athletics Association (ASHSAA).


According to Athletics Program Director Tumua Matu’u, the Governor's Office, the ASDOE and about a dozen local private sector companies are partnering to ensure that American Samoa is a great host for the delegation that is coming to volunteer their time to help our student athletes.


Private partners that have joined with the ASDOE include:


Bluesky, Fletcher, GHC Reid, StarKist Samoa, Godinet Rentals, Carl’s, Jr., Koko Bean, Sports Domain, Tanoa Samoa, Samoa Ford Motors, Island’s Choice, Samoa News, and Morris Scanlan.


ASPA, DPS, and EMS are all providing extensive support and the Governor’s Office is hosting a dinner reception for all the visitors.


Lewis Wolman, who has volunteered to help create community partnerships, said, “it is gratifying to see how willing the private sector is to join with the government and the Polamalu Foundation to support a great effort like this. When we asked for help, the response was "what can we do?”


With most of the arrangements now in place, all that is needed from the community is to turn out and enjoy the week, and to remember to say “Fa'afetai” to all the agencies and companies who contributed to the hosting arrangements.