Organizers rate Samoa Bowl XI the best one yet
The overall look at this year’s “Samoa Bowl XI” elicited some interesting comments and responses from the leaders of this year's Samoa Bowl event, and it was nothing but positive feedback about how this year's bowl was —by far— the best one yet hosted in American Samoa by the Samoa Bowl Committee and family.
Samoa News had the opportunity to speak to the SB Committee Chairman, Lealao Melila Purcell who told Samoa News that nothing could’ve been possible if it wasn’t for the help of their partnership with “Dr. Taeaoafua Meki Solomona and Starkist Samoa, Samoan Affairs, D.O.E., D.O.C., DYWA, Human Social Services Department, the Department of Human Resources, Hawaiian Airlines, DPS, and the Public Health and EMS, for all their help.
He added, “ I rate this year’s Samoa Bowl the best compared to all the past Samoa Bowl events that were held in American Samoa. Of course we had a few glitches in terms of some of the things that we could’ve done better – for instance on Tuesday (last week) we had some of the kids over at the Tau’ese Ocean Center, but it was closed that day.
It was a big disappointment because the kids could’ve learned a lot. But Dr. Taeaoafua Solomona stepped up and he did a remarkable job with his presentation of our Fa’aSamoa; also with the Congressman’s Office who had Salote Fanene teach the kids how to do the traditional Samoan dance.
Purcell told Samoa News it was the teamwork with the government agencies, and the community based departments that really made it spectacular this year. Naming some of them he said, “The Boys and Girls Club of American Samoa with former First Lady Mary Anne Tulafono, we also had McDonald’s who came through, Carls Jr., Lt. Governor Mauga and his wife, and of course Honorable Governor Moliga and his family.
He emphasized, “All in all, I think this is the best Samoa Bowl that we’ve ever had. And hopefully next year, we’ll do better than this year with Samoa Bowl 12. Then maybe we will have the chance to go to Hawai’i and participate in Hawai’i for another Samoa Bowl event. But it was a great one week event, I think the athletes and the coaches had a great time here with what we had planned.”
Samoa News spoke to the director and coordinator for the Pacific Islanders Polynesian All Stars – Uaealesi Josie Epenesa Tuioti Mariner, who was the leader for the California and Utah All Stars in this year’s Bowl.
She told Samoa News that out of all the Samoa Bowl events that she’s been able to attend, this is by far the best one ever. “This is one of the best Samoa Bowls…. to me, this is my fourth year bringing down our All Stars from the States, and this year is the best Bowl event coordinated by Mel Purcell and his Committee. I just want to thank them from the bottom of my heart as a leader for this spectacular event. I know it’s not as easy as it looks.”
Tuioti Mariner added, “I wish and I hope that we will continue to have this stand for your kids. So far, from all the kids that I’ve talked to, they told me that they love the atmosphere, the organization, and that it was a wonderful experience. A majority of these kids that we brought down were born and raised in the United States and have never been to Samoa, and they were in awe, they were very thankful, and they appreciate everything that you guys have done for us.”
Representing the 808 State of Hawaii was the Head Coach of Hawaii’s Volleyball Teams and Hawaii’s trip leader Tanya Fuamatu who told Samoa News that Hawaii’s participants all loved this years Samoa Bowl. She said, “Our kids had a blast here in Samoa. This year was so awesome, our players learned more about our culture in one week than we normally do in a year’s time.”
She added, “ we are very grateful and thankful to Governor Lolo Moliga and Lt. Governor Mauga and their wives as well as the Samoa Bowl Committee… they have been so awesome in keeping the games going. We know that when big events like this are coordinated, not everything is going to be perfect – but I have to say, from all the Samoa Bowl’s that I have participated in, this is my third one, this has been the best by far.”
She concluded, “I know that there were things that we could’ve done better, but overall, I think the positives definitely outweighed the negatives this year. I want to thank all our families and relatives here in Samoa for all the love and support you guys have given us throughout our time here, especially for allowing us here to share our talents and our gifts. Alofa and mahalo!”