Power of sport inspires football volunteer

The power of sport to bring out the best in people inspires one sports volunteer – and former athlete - at the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games.

Lynetta Laumea-Edward will be volunteering to help with the smooth running of football at the Games. She is the project manager for the Football Federation Samoa’s Just Play, a grassroots programme promoting physical activity for primary-aged children while encouraging community involvement and healthy living.

The 35-year-old scored Samoa’s first senior women’s international goal – in the 77th-minute against Cook Islands in 2003.

"I always believe that sport has a huge message that brings out the best in people and I wanted to use my talent to tell the youth that you can also relate your life to sport," she said.

As Samoa celebrates Mother’s Day, Lynetta believes there are opportunities through sport for women. "Think outside the box. Even if we don’t make the Women’s World Cup…we can change the world through changing the perceptions of the people and the way they see women in Samoa."

Lynetta believes one of the best skills of being a mother is learning how to multitask, but above all doing everything out of love.

"It has been quite a journey, I have faced many things and without challenges we will never improve in life. I had my first child when I was 20, but that didn’t stop me from doing what I love."

Growing up in a family of seven siblings, Lynetta has always been passionate about children even before having her own. Her mother, Tavu’i Anne Laumea, cared for many children in need.

"My mother was one of the first police women in Samoa and her passion was to help children in need. When I was young, our home was like a centre for those who were less fortunate."

She continued: "These kids lived with us, my mother would change their names to Faith, Hope or Love. It was a good experience for me and I am doing the same passion but in a different platform - which is sports."