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Ben Needs Fiji’s Help

Ben Needs Fiji’s Help
From left: Vodafone Fijian 7s reps Semi Kunatani, Isake Katonibau, Pio Tuwai, Josaia Raisuqe, Samisoni Viriviri, Vatemo Ravouvou with the Sevens World Series trophy in London yesterday. Photo: Ian Muir
May 19
08:34 2015

Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Ben Ryan needs the support of Fijians and not just the Government in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Fiji National Sports Commission chairman Peter Mazey made the comment after the team’s qualification at the Glasgow 7s.

Mazey also made special mention of the Englishman’s effort in also capturing the 2014-15 Sevens World Series in London yesterday.

Ryan earlier indicated he needs $3million to prepare a team for the Rio Olympics.

“Ben Ryan is not saying that he needs that money from Government,” Mazey said. “What he’s saying is that he needs that sort of money for his budget so the whole community needs to help.”

Mazey said the Fiji Rugby Union needed to lead in the campaign for gold in Rio next year.

“We won the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens Series, we are Number One going into Rio.

“It would have been nice to see them go all the way through and win London as well, but they have done their job,” Mazey said.

“Now it’s really down to us to work with them and make a smooth way for them all the way through to Rio.”

He said it was interesting to see Netball Fiji raised $150,000 at one business function last Friday.

The Vodafone Fijian 7s team sealed their second series win after nine years when they beat South Africa 19-7 in the Cup quarterfinal.

Meanwhile, FRU chief executive officer Radrodro Tabualevu said “the preparation for Rio started last week after qualification in Glasgow.

“There is no option, but to fund the plans that has been set by Ben Ryan,” he said from Sydney yesterday.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou said Government was committed to assisting the team.

“In the budget request of $3 million by Ryan, we have the sponsor and we will re-open the Rakavi Trust,” he said.

Tuitubou said the performance of the team, over the weekend showed the calibre of coaching.

“This is what happens when you bring in a quality coach like Ben Ryan. I’m very happy; the team deserved the HSBC Sevens World Series title,” he said.

Feedback: ana.sovaraki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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