Government funding towards sports in the country will soon be based on performance. And if the desired result is not achieved, than funding will be stopped.
That was the message from the Minister of Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou while addressing the Fijian National Sports Commission’s National Sporting Conference at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday. Tuitubou said while we cherish the memories of winning our first gold medal at the Olympic Games, the challenge now is to move a step higher.
That, Tuitubou says, involves proper preparation for major championships like the Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic games.
“In other countries sporting bodies work closely with government authorities to put resources into a four-year plan,” he said.
“This includes sports science, medicine and technology support but it also includes close monitoring on results. If the predicted results are not achieved, cuts are made- there is no second chance.”
Tuitubou told representatives of our national sporting organisations that this is the approach that they are going to adopt.
“The main focus of this conference is about planning and we need to plan much better- our athletes deserve it and the Fijian fans demands it. The results in some sports, despite increased funding, have not improved. As part of the planning process, you need to assess what’s going right and what’s need to be changed.”
He said proper planning is also needed for development works as well, which is usually difficult as based on what they received like lack of resources.
Tuitubou said the ministry for this financial year will review the national sports policy as this forms the basis of legislation, which comes next.
“There are many aspects which the policy will cover and I encourage you to give your opinions in the process.
“Together with partners, we will be seeking input from NSOs, those working at schools and communities over six weeks from the beginning of January, next year.
It is important we have as wide a consultative process as possible.”
Apart from identifying talented athletes, Tuitubou says, there is a great need to look at hiring the services of overseas coaches, technical officials and team managers as well.
“Some of you have taken advantage of the Sports Commission’s international coaching fund, others have not.
“Again it is important that we work, we plan to lift our standards using international expertise.
“However, you should also plan to have that expertise transferred to our coaches.
“This has unfortunately not been done in a number of sports in recent years.”
Tuitubou said we cannot afford, with our limited resources, to leave things to chance.
“If we do not do this, we will not be ensuring the full return on the investment made,” Tuitubou added.
Edited by Osea Bola