Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Samoan boxers fight for Commonwealth glory

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
(L-R) Marion Ah Tong and Ato Plodzicki Faoagali are vying for Commonwealth glory
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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

Australia-based Samoan boxers ready to fight – not just in the ring – but also for sponsors and extra aid from from those willing to help get them to the Commonwealth Games in July.

Ato Plodzicki Faoagali and Marion Ah Tong are no strangers to the international boxing stage. Having represented Samoa in the Olympics last year, is proof of their hard work and dedication for their home island.

However, unlike other competing boxers, both Ato and Marion have had to work with limited assistance and financial support. And as they prepare for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, both athletes are open to whatever help is given their way.

“Anything will do for sponsorship for us. We are looking for people to help out with training, money wise or anything else like facilities or gear,” Ato says.

“We are truly grateful for the support, and do hope that we can receive help with recovery, training and also other forms of help that benefit me and Ato.” 

Based in Campbelltown Australia, Marion and Ato are only a few weeks into their training program for the coming games. A strict weekly session with balanced diet routines, the young fighters are keeping their bodys in peak shape for competition. 

From the Pacific Games, Olympics and now Commonwealth, the duo have been side-by-side through their boxing journey. Leading into the games which take place in July, they both believe that there are areas in which they need to work on for better results.

Improvement towards his professional career is what Marion works on as he eyes up his chances for gold in Birmingham.

“For me, I want to improve in becoming professional within the sport. The bigger result for me though at the games is to become number one. My time with the other games and tournaments has given me enough experience to be ready for Birmingham.”

Despite the long hours of work and countless sacrifices they have had to make, Ato and Marion are forever grateful for the opportunity to be flag bearers for Samoa. It is a blessing that they owe back to the support of their country, but also the love and prayers of both their families.

“I am always proud to represent and it means alot to me. This will be my second Commonwealth Games, and the last time I got silver. Hopefully I can get gold this time by training hard and being proud to represent my country and family,” Ato says.

Marion, who originally moved from Samoa to Australia for a boxing camp, says that he is always aware of the tremendous support shown by his family back home. 

“I always keep in mind that they are always supporting me to do great. As they say in our culture, many hands make light work. We are not just representing our family, but also Samoans back home and all over the world.”

For those who are willing to help out Ato and Marion in whatever form, flick a message through to [email protected] 

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