Luisa Peters may only be 165 centimeters tall, but she towers over many when it comes to her professional technique and strength. This is true of both weightlifting and the police service where a detective from the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) has been a valued member of the team since 2019.
Not yet 30, Luisa’s impressive feats in competitive weightlifting were well on her way to being replicated as a police officer – until she recently made the difficult decision to quit her job.
“It was a difficult decision,” she admits.
“It had nothing to do with work, but with following my passion. I didn’t want to regret not taking this opportunity later.”
The opportunity she is talking about is her recent selection for a seat on the Executive Board of the International Weightlifting Federation, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The appointment is the latest in a long line of career achievements – made all the more impressive by the fact that she has so much more ahead of her in the future.
The position on the Executive Committee came after he was elected from the membership of the IWF Athletes’ Commission – a group of just 10 representatives elected by all members of the international body. Luisa clearly has the respect of her global peers – a level of recognition that sometimes pales on home soil, unfortunately.
In fact, the difficulty of constant financial burdens led to her “retirement” from competition at just 24 years old. The need for the support of elite athletes is great and the champion felt that she could not continue to unfairly put pressure on her family.
By then she had been lifting weights for 10 years – from the age of 14, accumulating significant milestones as a two-time Olympian, a national representative at three Commonwealth Games, plus the Ocean Games, the Pacific Games and the Mini Games. Luisa’s medal haul between gold, silver and bronze is so numerous that it is lost on count. On top of all that, she was declared the Sportswoman of the Year in 2015 and awarded the Sports Coach of the Year in 2021. And there is the distinction of being the first woman to hold the position of Vice President of the Oceanic Weightlifting Federation in 2016.
The national level coach currently supervises four youth and two senior competitors. The balance of police work was fine until the call to step up came early this year.
Luisa has since realized that the IWF role will increasingly demand more of her time, including international engagements and meetings. A difficult decision loomed.
Perhaps the easiest decision was to join the police service – something she had considered in her younger years, which resulted in a challenge from a friend who was already in the ranks.
“I remember Peggy (Matapo) coming and throwing forms in front of me. She said if you really want to make a difference, fill this out.”
The path to success in the police has proven to be fruitful, especially in terms of developing investigative skills.
Luisa graduated from the Mama Tuki Wright Recruit Wing in 2019, earning top honors as the first in the Recruit Wing. She was soon tapped on the shoulder and quickly transitioned from frontline police to CIB investigator.
Over the course of several years, Luisa has been assigned significant cases – an asset to her department and part of strengthening capacity in fraud investigations.
Detective duties have helped to fulfill the deeper aims of serving police crime prevention efforts, particularly by demonstrating more positive pathways for young people. But for now, this positive role model will take on a different weight. One that is sure to encourage young women beyond these shores.
- Trevor Pitt/Police Media