Who We Are: The Aiga Foundation
We believe we can make a difference in the community by mentoring student-athletes.
The Polynesian All American Bowl (PAAB) is a gathering of Polynesians who desire to become the very best version of themselves. Football is the medium through which they can showcase their unique athletic gifts, but it is more than just a game. Like their warrior ancestors who came before them, it is an opportunity to grow into men of honor, respect, and love. The PAAB is the only all-star game in the country, where they will get the fellowship with the top Polynesian seniors from across the country including American Samoa. Athletes who become a part of the bowl game leave with new friendships that last throughout their college and professional careers.
Polynesian All-American Bowl is brought to you by the AIGA Foundation
Who We Are
The AIGA Foundation is a faith based non-profit organization that has been organizing sporting and community events for 18 years. Over that time, we have assisted student-athletes from across the mainland United States, Hawai'i, and American Samoa in acquiring athletic scholarships in the sport of football.
We exist to bridge the gap between opportunity and student-athletes who are willing to work hard at school, work, home, and on the field. The activities we organize are recognized on the national level by media and collegiate coaches at all levels. To date, thousands of student-athletes have attended AIGA events and have gone on to compete in college and become contributing members of their communities.
Where It All Started
The AIGA Foundation was founded 18 years ago by a handful of local, former student-athletes in Carson, CA. We believed we could make a difference in their community by mentoring student-athletes. At that time, there was a noticeable shortage of kids who wanted to play sports in that geographic area. They, instead, preferred to hang out in the streets, participating in suspect activities, and getting involved with crowds of negative influence. So, we took it upon ourselves - this small group of men who knew what it took to succeed at the collegiate and professional levels as coaches and players - to do something about it.
The first step was starting a football camp in 1998 at Carnegie Middle School, which was a huge success. About 400 kids showed up, and they were encouraged and inspired by the words of Polynesian NFL legends Jesse Sapolu (our first guest speaker), Joe Salave’a, and Troy Polamalu among others. Following that initial camp, we began hosting seasonal events in the local areas of Carson, Long Beach, and Orange County. The momentum started to pick up, and it wasn’t long before kids began asking us to also host basketball and volleyball tournaments. When young people would attend these events, the rivalries and hostility between schools and cultures dissolved. Instead, there was a sense of safety and camaraderie amongst these young Polynesian brothers and sisters.
Soon, Governor Togiola Tulafono of American Samoa would fly from the islands to witness the success of the AIGA Foundation firsthand, and he immediately expressed his desire to see this type of outreach implemented back home in American Samoa. The opportunity to take our efforts to the South Pacific was a thrill for us, so we wholeheartedly agreed to host camps in the islands. From those events, major stateside universities began...
More on the history of AIGA coming soon...