Op­por­tu­ni­ties in pow­er­lift­ing

Central Leader - - SPORT - By ALASTAIR LYNN

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, who lives in One­hunga, was born in New Zealand but worked in Samoa for eight years as a sports co­or­di­na­tor.

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 un­der­84kg 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.

Photo: ALASTAIR LYNN / FAIR­FAX NZ

Fila Fua­matu is off to rep­re­sent Samoa at the 2015 Pa­cific Games.

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