Manukau Courier : December 21st 2010
17 MANUKAU COURIER, DECEMBER 21, 2010 NEWS Queen Bea's keen about new job New career: Beatrice Faumuina is looking to help the next generation of Pasifika leaders. Photo: TUREI MACKEY By TUREI MACKEY Her discus has been put away but Queen Bea is focusing on a new hive of activity. Champion discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina has retired from her sport and is now the chief executive of a new leadership academy and charitable foundation. She is working at the Best Pacific Institute of Education, which has campuses in Manukau and New Lynn, to launch a programme mentoring Pasifika business and community leaders. The launch was held at Manukau's Pacific Events Centre. The move means an end to Faumuina's 18-year discus- throwing career. She won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and 2002 and a world championship title in 1997. But she isn't sad about the end of an era, she is excited about her new challenge. If I could pick the ideal job that would be the pinnacle of what I want in life this would be it,'' she says. I thought something like this might happen later in life but not now and in the role of chief executive.'' Faumuina is still getting used to spending her time in offices and moving from meeting to meeting. I have spent most of my life outside so I have had to get adjusted to being inside an office building for most of the day,'' she says. This is probably the first time in 18 years that I have had a week without training or working out.'' The 36-year-old isn't miss- ing the long hours of practice. I can honestly say I do not miss the six days a week of training.'' Faumuina says she's pre- pared for the job of helping to mentor Pasifika people. She's got plenty of experi- ence as a top athlete, has studied business and was runner-up in the television show Dancing with the Stars. People would say to me why do you do all these things, why not just focus on one thing?' And I say it is because these options were made available to me. If I hadn't studied and worked then things like this new job wouldn't have happened.'' Her most memorable moments in athletics were on the podium. Hearing the national anthem being played is so emotional. Especially when you are standing on the dais and remembering all those people who helped you along the way.''
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