Champion inspires Port Hedland youth

16 December 2020

Soa “The Hulk” Palelei with a Talent Pool participantIt’s been an exciting week for young people in Port Hedland, with a special visit from a martial arts champion. Royal Life Saving WA and BHP teamed up with 3 time UFC Heavy Weight Champion Soa “The Hulk” Palelei to host a motivational talk for Hedland youth.

Soa had been sponsored by BHP to visit Hedland and share his personal story of transformation and triumph. Through a close working relationship Royal Life Saving was able to mobilise it's community network and bring together a group of children, youth, and their parents to listen to his inspiring story.

Soa is a Tongan born Australian mixed martial artist who was part of the professional circuit from 2002 until he retired in 2015. He most notably competed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and PRIDE Fighting Championships.

Despite his connections to Hollywood fame, including being the personal trainer for Leonardo Di Caprio, and personal friends with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he was incredibly humble and grounded. He inspired and enthralled his audience of young people including two Royal Life Saving WA Talent Pool graduates Jay and Kash who’ve recently graduated as qualified lifeguards after 3 months of intensive training.

Soa’s key advice to the upcoming Royal Life Saving lifeguards and the rest of his audience was simple; set goals, work harder than your opponent, persevere, be healthy, utilise meditation and visualisation to achieve goals. He indicated he was more than willing to host a training session for the kids and youth upon his next return visit to the Pilbara so we look forward to seeing him again in the future!