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Putting passion over profession

Saturday 18 March 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Features, Local, National


Putting passion over profession
Luisa Peters who served as the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Detective Constable made the difficult decision to leave her job, recently. Police Media/23031735

Luisa Peters may be only 165 centimetres tall but she stands head and shoulders above many when it comes to her professional technique and strength. That goes for both weightlifting and the Police Service where the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Detective Constable has been a valued member of the team since 2019.

Not yet 30, Luisa’s impressive success record in competitive weightlifting was well on the way to being replicated as a police officer – until making the difficult decision to leave her job, recently.

“It was a hard decision to make,” she admits.

“It had nothing to do with the work but really about following my passion. I didn’t want to end up having any regrets later about not taking up this opportunity.”

The opportunity she’s talking about is her recent selection to sit on the Executive Board of the International Weightlifting Federation, which is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. The appointment is the latest in a long line of career achievements – made more impressive since she still has so much more ahead of her in the future.

The spot on the Executive Board came after being chosen from the membership of the IWF Athletes Commission – a group of only 10 representatives elected by all the members of the international body.  Luisa clearly has the respect of her global colleagues – a level of recognition that sometimes fades on home turf, unfortunately.  

In fact, it was the hardship of constant financial burdens that led to her “retirement” from competition at only 24 years old. The need for elite athlete support is great and the champion lifter felt she couldn’t continue to unfairly place that pressure on her family.

By then, she’d been weightlifting for 10 years – since age 14, accumulating significant milestones as a two-time Olympian, national representative at three Commonwealth Games, plus the Oceania Games, Pacific Games, and Mini Games competitions.  Luisa’s medal haul across Gold, Silver, and Bronze are so numerous, she’s lost count. To top it off, she was named Sportswoman of the Year in 2015, and awarded Sports Coach of the Year in 2021. And there’s also the distinction of being the first female to hold office as the vice president of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation, in 2016.

The national level coach is currently supervising four youth and two senior competitors. The balance with Police work was fine until the call to step up came, early this year.  

Luisa has since realised that the role with IWF will increasingly demand more of her time, including international engagements and meetings. The tough decision loomed.

Perhaps the easiest decision to make was to join the Police Service – something she’d thought about in her younger years, and which resulted in a challenge being set down by a friend, who was already part of the ranks.

“I remember Peggy (Matapo) coming around and throwing the forms down in front of me. She said if you really want to make a difference, fill this out.”

The path to success with the Police proved fruitful, particularly in terms of developing the skillset for investigative work. 

Luisa Peters who served as the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Detective Constable made the difficult decision to leave her job, recently. Police Media/23031736
Luisa Peters who served as the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Detective Constable made the difficult decision to leave her job, recently. Police Media/23031736

Luisa graduated under the Mama Tuki Wright Recruit Wing in 2019, gaining top honours as First in Recruit Wing. She soon got shoulder-tapped and quickly transitioned from frontline policing to investigator with CIB.  

Over a short few years, Luisa has been assigned significant cases – an asset to her division and part of a strengthening capacity in fraud investigations.

The detective duties have helped fulfil deeper goals to serve police efforts toward crime prevention, especially by demonstrating more positive pathways for young people. But for now, this positive role model will be taking on a different weight. One that is sure to encourage young women well beyond these shores.

  • Trevor Pitt/Police Media 


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