Toua, Baru sharing Olympic experiences to inspire youths

Sports

By PETER ESILA
Olympic weightlifters Dika Toua and Morea Baru, both from Hanuabada village in Port Moresby, are taking time out from training to impart valuable messages to locals.
Baru said although they were now training once a day unlike in New Caledonia, keeping fit was important for any athlete.
The pair are using fellow Hanuabada villager Kila Mala’s gym to train.
“I am grateful that Mala has given us the opportunity to train at his gym,” Toua said.
“He is facilitating us.
“This is an agreement between us, the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee, and our coaches Paul Coffa and Mavara Tamasi, under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) scholarship programme.”
Toua said it was a relief to be back home.
“We have been given the opportunity to come out and share our experience, in our little community, although it is not much,” the mother-of-two told The National on Friday.
“But we wanted to share the Olympic values, which are excellence, friendship and respect.
“It is not the last one, this is the first and we will try to reach out to the community, once we have the opportunity to go out to our village.
“This way, we try to encourage young people to see the value of the Olympics.
“They can then set their goals and not just look to compete locally, nationally or regionally but to aim higher to go to the Olympic Games and World Championships.”
Toua said although the Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, it had given her more time to prepare.
“It has affected us in so many ways,but we are not taking that as a disadvantage,” she said.
“We are taking it as an advantage to prepare for the Olympic Games.
“It has given us more time to prepare.
“If we also look at it from a positive perspective, we’ve the opportunity to come back home, spend some time with our families, especially for myself.
“I’m able to come back home to spend some time with my two kids, whom I leave behind for long periods when I go and prepare for major events,” she said.
Toua is attempting to qualify for her fifth Olympic Games.
“Every time I attend the Olympic Games, I think maybe this will be the last time. But like Coffa told me that the more I get older, the better I become.
“While I still have the opportunity, I’d like to think I can continue until whenever I feel that I have done enough for my country.
“I won’t be just retiring as an athlete.
“Once I retire, I would like to also take up administrative work and look after young weightlifters and give back to the community.
“I want to help them reach my level and them achieve their goals.”

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