Meet the Team: Justine Samu
In this edition we meet Justine Samu who works on the One Netball program in Samoa.
Meet Justine Samu the Administrator and Finance Officer with the Team Up-supported One Netball program in Samoa, which is delivered by Netball Samoa in partnership with Netball Australia.
Justine is part of a dedicated team helping to enable more Samoan girls, women and fa'afafine to experience lifelong enjoyment, social inclusion and improved physical health through netball.
Having been raised and brought up overseas, she says working with Netball Samoa has brought her closer to home.
“I have lived in Samoa for four years now and only since working at Netball Samoa have I really become immersed in the community,” she says.
“It has thrown me deep into the community, which initially intimidated me.
“When I moved back to Samoa, I started a holiday property management business which allowed for a flexible lifestyle. That is when I was able to begin enjoying sport again with my family, and eventually I became a netball club coach. I participated in netball tournaments and became more involved within the netball community, ultimately taking up a permanent role with Netball Samoa.”
Justine who was recently in Fiji as part of the PacificAus Sports netball partners’ meeting, also shared how she loves her work, particularly in building confidence amongst young boys and girls.
"Sport entices teamwork, encourages fair practice and promotes a healthy lifestyle. From the tournaments I have worked on and participated in, I have witnessed and experienced the camaraderie – new and old, families coming together to compete and cheer each other on. I have seen the positive impact it has on my own children’s health, both mentally and physically, making them stronger and more confident.
“From my own club I have seen the positive impacts on children ranging from five to 17 years old. Our program generated massive interest among the younger generation, so much so that the clubs have grown with a new club introduced last season fielding all age groups. There are also more and more males participating in netball.
“Through the One Netball program we also offer specific focused training, for example, umpiring.
"The program also assists with the development of the sport, especially in the rural areas where it is much harder to find volunteers or sponsorships for program assistance. It also has had a huge impact in growing the awareness of netball and sport as a career path in Samoa.”
Justine concluded that being part of the One Netball program has also benefitted her personal connections and understanding of how to better support local communities through netball.
“Professionally, this program has opened the opportunity to engage with different parts of the community, to travel around Samoa and work with children and adults from all walks of life. It has given me a better understanding of how we can further promote sport for everyone to enjoy.”