Toa o le Tai
"Bruckner Chase, called Uila o le Sami, is considered a Toa o le Tai for his innovative work in Amerika Samoa."
2012 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nomination
The Toa o le Tai program was nominated for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year award. Its World Open Water Swimming Association nomination reads, 3,000-year ocean history of American Samoa has been embraced to lead the community's youth into the ocean as open water swimmers under the inspirational leadership, vision and aquapreneurship of Bruckner and Michelle Chase. Their Toa o le Tai (Ocean Hero) program, created based on a request by Governor Togiola T. A Tulafono and funded by a grant from the American Samoa Department of Commerce, is an innovative approach to creating proficient swimmers and ocean athletes capable of protecting themselves, their community and their oceans by instilling in them the strength to act, the passion to care and the vision to inspire. For its unique educational curriculum for adolescent and young adult students that involves hands-on training in the ocean, for its inspiration to the people with deep ties to the ocean, for its idealistic model as an educational tool to inspire the next generation of watermen and women, Toa o le Tai is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.