2012 Summer Youth Program continues with free sports clinics

The Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Commerce ‘2012 Summer Youth Program’ is continuing their free sports clinics at this time with American Samoa’s youth throughout the island.

One of the up and coming sports of the territory and probably the most underrated is the sport of Track and Field, which is one of the sports of this year’s 2012 Summer Youth Program with training sessions being held by the Track and Field Association of American Samoa.

Samoa News spoke with Valusia Talataina of the Track and Field Association of American Samoa, who is working with the youth of the territory in training sessions being held at the Veterans Memorial Stadium throughout the week.

“We are helping out in the Department of Parks and Recreation Summer Program for the youth, ages 13 and under,” said Talataina. “This is a great program and so far we have had a lot of kids here to learn about Track and Field. We started from the beginning of June and will go through to July 13, where we will having a big competition where the kids will demonstrate what they have learned.

“One of the things that we are trying do is not only teach our kids the sport… but by doing so, hopefully it will help them get used to all of the running and work that it takes for this sport... it will help to keep them in good physical shape. We are also trying to get them ready for competition, such as the Pacific Games, Mini Games or even the Olympic Games.”

American Samoa will have two Track and Field athletes competing in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games representing the territory. The athletes are 19-year old Alexandra Nichole Morgan, with her event being the Discus Throw. She will be joined by 18-year old Elama Fa’atonu, with his event being the 100 meter sprint.

“This is why we are trying to start these kids off young in this sport, so when they get to the age where they can compete internationally, they will be ready to represent American Samoa well,” Talataina said.

He went on to say that it is not too late for other kids to join and encourages parents to bring their children down to the stadium on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays, starting at 9 a.m. when practices take place.

He also invites the public out to the closing competition on Friday, July 13 at the stadium.

“We have a lot of talented kids here in American Samoa, that if they start training at a young enough age and train and compete consistently, the chances of them making that next step up to compete at a higher level goes up a few notches. I am excited to be here working with the kids and the kids are excited to be here learning about this great sport,” concluded Talataina.

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