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Join A Club To Lift Your Game

Join A Club To Lift Your Game
Playing at club level.
April 09
17:25 2017

The Fiji National Sports Commission’s two-week Sports Outreach and Train the Trainer Programme in Nadogo, Macuata was officially closed by Commissioner Northern, Jovesa Vocea on Friday, March 31. Mr Vocea awarded coaching certificates to rugby and volleyball participants after undergoing coaching accreditation through the respective national sports organisations. In addition selected fitness leaders from the participating villages were awarded their Fitness Leader’s certificates an initiative of the wellness programne of the Commission. The two week programme which started with a general sports skills learning programme in week 1 for over 90 participants ended with a sports specific accreditation programme in the second week that targeted a limited number of participants who were already doing coaching and refereeing in the community to give back to the community what they learnt through a commitment to coaching in the communities.

This new initiative is the way forward to assisting participants in putting them through their respective national federation coaching pathways. There is a huge gap in coaching pathways as coaching could very often be focussed only at the elite level of performance where the grassroots are often left out. The Commission is committed to ensuring everyone regardless of age, gender or disability must have equal opportunities when it comes to sports and physical activities. While the younger members of the community are involved in competitive sports, older citizens must take part in some sort of physical activity to combat the rising cases of NCDs in  the country. This inclusive approach has always been the focus of the commission. It reinforces government’s stand on sports for all and mandatory participation. While different sectors discuss ways of combating NCDs in Fiji, the commission believes it can contribute by means of the different programmes of sport and physical activities it conducts in different parts of the country using this inclusive approach through club structures.

The different villages in Nadogo that attended the program were given sets of equipment to take back to their villages. The fitness leaders accredited through the Ministry of Health’s wellness programme will now become NCD ambassadors in the country. They will now organise physical activities in villages targeting different age groups and abilities For the next three months they will collect data to indicate the number of people taking part and the types of activities they take part in, In addition, each village that attended the training will establish a youth club or re-establish youth clubs already registered with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. While the youths will drive the youth club, membership to the club is extended to sports and groups that wish to be affiliated under the club. The sports commission is a strong advocate of sports clubs being the means of increasing participation in sport and physical activities in villages and communities.

Villages have been requested through their representatives at the workshop that they must collectively work together to make this concept work in the community. When setting up a club it is important that the club adopts a club plan.  The club plan stipulates all aspects of the club’s purpose and structure. The club plan communicates the philosophy, vision and mission of the club, and it defines the services it provides and to whom, its goals, its business and organisational structures, operational costs and facilities it will need. Once developed the plan must be followed. It is a living document and should be reviewed as the club evolves.

The challenges for us in Fiji are having people in the community with the passion to drive club life to this level. The sports commission is committed to making this a reality by committing resources in the areas of developing people with the skill sets to operate a club to a level that it becomes the lifeline of a village or community. It is the means by which the whole community can collectively work together to support their communities. A club can engage in range of programmes and activities once the club structure is set up and operating in the community.

A list of potential programmes and services that could be offered through a club includes;

Competition

Player development and training

Team training

Free play

Recreational play

Sport specific professional coaching

Strength and conditioning

Off season training

Special needs programmes

Hosting tournaments

Tournament participation

Coach education

International travel

Before and after school programmes

Academic tutoring

Social outings

Guest speakers programmes

Imaging if a club comes alive in a community and the above services and programs are offered through the club the village or community will be an exciting place to live in.

The club now becomes the link between schools sports and elite performances. Participation in a lot of sports locally ends with secondary school sports. Look at athletics for example, many of our talented athletes career end at secondary school because there is no completion beyond secondary schools. If there were active clubs in our villages and communities students will continue their athletics through club competitions. The same applies to other sports. The sports commission in their efforts to promote club structures invites national sporting organisations to join them in promoting this initiative given these opportunities help create pathways for competitions, coaching and officiating and administration.

The lack of defined pathways remain a concern for a lot of our sporting bodies. Players either automatically find themselves representing their country and competing at the national level by virtue of the smallness of their sports and lack of grass-root participation or simply participates at the most basic grass-root level and have no advancement pathways through to higher levels.

Accrediting coaches in Nadogo with their coaching accreditations was the initial step in creating sports clubs in the area. Participating villages will now be in a position to form associations and promote competition up North. Our support roles now focuses on intensive follow up, training our club executives on their roles, recommend OSEP training to develop their skills and start to put these people through the different playing, coaching, officiating and club administration pathways offered through their national bodies. We urge sporting bodies to join us in taking your sports out to the communities, register your sport through t he club systems and enjoy the benefits in terms of expanding your participation base with minimal costs to you.

Are you finishing school this year and have an ambition to remain active in sport and physical activities? Join the nearest sports club nearest to you. Become registered, pay your dues and enjoy the exciting programmes offered through your club.

Are you an elderly member of the community who wishes to become active? Join your club and explore what activity best suits you.

Are you suffering from NCD’s? Become registered in the club nearest to you they will take care of your needs?

Are you a pre-school child and finds village life quite boring? There is something for you in the club. Find out what you can do.

The multi-sport and physical activity club concept offers members a variety of sports and activities under one roof. You do not have to look for another club if you wish to play another sport. It encourages young athletes to try out a variety of sports so that they develop as well rounded athletes and don’t get burned out on a single sport.

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