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Pacific Women's Leadership impact: Pualele Craig Pualele Craig named President of the Samoa National Basketball Association

Pacific Women's Leadership impact: Pualele Craig

Pualele Craig (Pua) from Samoa was one of ten female leaders selected to attend the 2023 Pacific Women's Leadership Programme (PWSLP) in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Pua's background has been playing and coaching basketball both in Samoa and overseas, at a regional and national level. Since the PWSLP, Pua has introduced a regular basketball league for women and girls in Samoa, providing opportunities and access for young girls to regular physical activity. 

Pua is having an immediate impact in the community through providing opportunities and access for many young girls to regular physical activity. She herself has coached at a national level in the game and has led significant campaigns for national sides to qualify for international tournaments, which in itself is a very tangible benefit to those joining the clinics and league.

Her project goal is to draw in a large number of young female participants either new to or familiar with basketball and provide opportunity to access a regular weekly league including training and match play opportunities in a hope to build a lifelong love of the sport, a chance to socialise and connect with other young women and girls and take on the benefits of being physically active. In turn, this exposure may also in time lead to establishment of pathways for young women to go on to play competitively, seek scholarships for the US College system and possibly represent their nation in the sport.

Pua has gathered around her some other females passionate about her league and in driving forward positive change for women and girls in the community. During a WISPA on island visit in February 2024, we were able to gather with a group of these women for a Talanoa and provide sharing and insights from Ambassador Louisa Wall and WISPA CEO Nicky van den Bos along with an introductory session to Tetra Mapping and the Emotional Culture Deck – management tools. This proved hugely successful with gathering a cohort of women locally with similar intentions and different reach into other industries who may be able to take forward a concept such as ‘Women in Sport Samoa’, something currently under investigation. 

Pua recognised the value of this content from her time on the programme and proactively sought out opportunity to share those learnings to a wider group of women who would benefit just the same, something for consideration for the programme post-engagement plan in future to develop bigger local support hubs at each participant’s home location for wider impact potential.

Pua has been on the Board of  the Samoa National Basketball Association and serving as one of the only females for some time. In March 2024, Pua was announced as the new President of the Board, alongside six other females on the new Board. 

Pua says "The PWSLP contributed directly to and helped prepare me to accept this new role. Deeply grateful to Pasifika SIS, WISPA, US State Department and NZMFAT for their support and commitment to fostering leadership in Pacific Island Women in sports leadership like myself. Faafetai tele lava!"

 In this role, Pua has potential to cement regular league and pathways for women and girls, and we look forward to following her journey. 

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