Fila Fuamatu powers to Pacific Games

​Fila Fuamatu is using all her strength to give others a lift.

The powerlifter is perfecting her form in preparation for the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

She will represent Samoa in the male-dominated sport. 

"I just want to encourage others," she says.

"There are so many opportunities for women out there. They just don't know how strong they are."

Fuamatu, wo lives in the Auckland suburb of Onehunga, was born in New Zealand but worked in Samoa for eight years as a sports co-ordinator.

It was during this time she discovered all of the benefits of being involved in sport.

"You think you're just playing a game but it opens the door for so many other opportunities," she says.

These opportunities have included competing regularly at the Pacific Games.

Fuamatu has also represented Samoa in both sevens and touch rugby in 2007 and 2009.

Touch was not included in the 2011 New Caledonia games so Fuamatu decided to take a shot at powerlifting 

"I found that I could actually lift quite heavy weights."

The sport includes three different exercises: the squat, dead lift and bench press.

In just her first year at the Pacific Games Fuamatu won the silver medal in the under-84kg category.

But it has not always been an easy road for the athlete.

Shortly after her success Fuamatu slipped a disk in her back during training.

"I lifted quite heavy on the dead lift but it was just too much pressure," she says.

"I had a break from being injured and didn't think I could get back to the same level."

However after some serious hours at the gym Fuamatu is back and ready for competition on July 9.

She also hopes to help other women discover how strong they are.

"I eventually want to get into coaching.

"If you feel strong then you feel better as well."