It is an exciting time to be heading back to American Samoa,” said Bruckner Chase. “What began as a simple request from the Governor to create an award program to encourage the youth to become more proficient in the ocean has evolved into the Bruckner Chase Toa ole Tai program.”

He creates mentors in the community while also creating the next generation of ocean heroes. The program starts at high school where ocean conservation, ocean swimming and aquatic safety are taught. “Our partners include the American Samoan Government Department of Commerce and the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary. We are also receiving assistance from the Department of Education, the Department of Public Safety and the American Samoa Community College. We also received educational support from REEF, the National Aquarium and NOAA’s National Ocean Services.”

It is a unique program that raises the swimming proficiency in the island communities as the next generation is positively impacted on how they feel, think and act towards the oceans. “I will also be meeting with a group bringing Special Olympics back to American Samoa. I am excited that Special Olympics International’s newest sport, open water, may also be the first sport for Special Olympics American Samoa.”

American Samoa-Big Swim-Produced by Paul Chetirkin, ONMS from Bruckner Chase on Vimeo

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