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FASANOC: From 1949 Still Going On

FASANOC: From 1949 Still Going On
From left: Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) president Joe Rodan (Snr), Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens captain Osea Kolinisau and Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) president Dr Robin Mitchell receive the Association of National Olympic Committees’ (ANOC) award for Best Male Team at the Rio Games. Photo: FASANOC
August 05
12:36 2017

We’ve all heard about the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee or commonly known as FASANOC. We caught up with FASANOC chief executive officer Lorraine Mar who spoke about the importance of their existence, achievements and the role they play in the development of sports in the country.

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) chief executive officer Lorraine Mar (left) with her events, sponsorship and marketing manager Sitiveni Tawakevou. Photo: FASANOC

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) chief executive officer Lorraine Mar (left) with her events, sponsorship and marketing manager Sitiveni Tawakevou. Photo: FASANOC


SUN: What is FASANOC all about? 

MAR: The Association is a national not-for-profit non-governmental organisation registered under the terms of Charitable Trusts Act (CAP.67).

FASANOC is the umbrella body of 40 national sports federations in Fiji. It is Fiji’s only internationally recognised multi-sport body with the sole authority to field Team Fiji at the following respective Games; Olympic Games since 1955 by the International Olympic Committee; Commonwealth Games since 1950 by the Commonwealth Games Federation; Pacific Games by the Pacific Games Council.

Our mission is to develop, protect and promote sports participation and excellence for all the people of Fiji. Our vision is to inspire the people of Fiji through sports excellence.


SUN: When did it start?

MAR: FASANOC was founded in 1949 and achieved International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognition in 1955. Apart from being responsible of entering Fiji representatives in the Olympic Games, FASANOC is the organisation responsible for the coordination and management of Fiji teams to the Pacific Mini Games, Pacific Games and the Commonwealth Games.

It also has a major role to play in directing technical assistance funding to its affiliates in the areas of coaching, athlete development, sports medicine and sports administration.

In 2009, FASANOC celebrated 60 years of existence as a National Sports Association and in 2005 proudly reached a milestone in reaching its 50 year anniversary as a member of the Olympic family.


SUN: What various sporting bodies originate under FASANOC?

MAR: There are 40 sports national federations affiliated to FASANOC. They are athletics, alpine, skiing, archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards, bodybuilding, bowls, boxing, chess, cricket, cycling, darts, football, game fishing, golf, gymnastics, hockey, judo, karate, netball, outrigger, paralympic, power lifting, rugby league, rugby union, shooting, squash, surfing, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, touch rugby, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, yachting and universities sports association.

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) chief executive officer Lorraine Mar (left) with staff at the Fiji Olympic House. Photo: FASANOC

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) chief executive officer Lorraine Mar (left) with staff at the Fiji Olympic House. Photo: FASANOC

SUN: Any recognitions and achievements?

MAR: Having passed a milestone of 50 years in existence in 1999, now in 2017, FASANOC has been involved in sport development and Team Fiji management for 68 years. After attending our first Olympic Games in 1955, FASANOC has sent Team Fiji to every Olympic Games since then, with the exception of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Fiji declined the invitation to participate as the Organising Committee was unable to guarantee the safety of Team Fiji athletes and officials. For the Commonwealth Games, our achievements have seen us win 4 gold medals, four silver and eight bronze.

We hosted the inaugural South Pacific Games in 1963 and again in 1979 and set a bench mark in Games organisation for the region with the highly successful 2003 SPG.

Through the Team Fiji rugby 7s performance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, see us won our first ever Olympic Games medal– a gold and a historic occasion for us.

The win also earned the Team Fiji rugby men’s 7s team the Association of National Olympic Committees’ (ANOC) award for Best Male Team at the Rio Games.

Recognition of past FASANOC president and now Life Member, Dr Robin Mitchell, in his appointment as an IOC member in Fiji in 1994.

FASANOC is proud to host the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame at Fiji Olympic House. The Fiji Sports Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1990 as a tribute to Fiji athletes who have excelled in their sporting career.

FASANOC also recognises the supporting personnel behind these athletes by awarding the Fiji Olympic Order.


SUN: What about your association with FASANOC and the position you now hold?

MAR: I began as FASANOC’s first ever full time employee in 1988 and therefore this is my 29th year in FASANOC service.

I have been CEO since 2010.

The position is challenging, particularly so in recent years, where we now have multiple Games to attend in any one year.

I’m fortunate to be guided by a pro-active executive board and supported by a dedicated staff of nine, who accommodate our limited resources by multitasking over shared responsibilities.


SUN: What are some challenges you have undergone when taking up this role?

MAR: I think the greatest challenge is being able to plan on how I can bring about change and make a difference towards supporting Team Fiji’s athletes and officials so that full potential is reached.

FASANOC is a small organisation with both limited funding and resources. How do I maximise these resources while at the same time facilitate growth so that Team Fiji can produce results that make the country proud.


SUN: What are some of the future developments or plans in place by FASANOC?

MAR: The FASANOC 2017–2021 strategic plan focuses on four strategic areas;

  • Administration and Governance– over this period we will be working on improving and enhancing our governance procedures and structures
  • Commission and Sports Services– this is an area where we rely heavily on volunteers. We are looking at strengthening our commissions and ensuring that each commission has a term of reference and action plan that will have positive impact on contributing towards achieve the strategic goals and priorities.
  • Stakeholder Partnership– we are also looking at strengthening and forging strong partnerships to achieve our mission.
  • Marketing and Finance– this is an area of development towards being a sustainable organisation with a strong brand.

SUN: How have preparations coming on for the upcoming Games?

MAR: We’ve our youth team returning from the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas. The national federations are preparing for the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games to be held in Turkmenistan in September and the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu in December.   These are important Games which contribute towards a pathway for athletes as they aim to represent Fiji at future Games.

In April 2018 is the Commonwealth Games being hosted in Gold Coast, Australia.

In 2019 the Pacific Games and in 2020 the next Olympic Games comes around in Tokyo.

We’re working with the National Sports Commission in securing team preparation funds to assist the national federations prepare their athletes and officials.

In addition, one of the important activities we’ve carried out over 2016/17, has been capacity building workshops for our major stakeholder, our national federations.

FASANOC has adopted the Oceania Sports Education Program (OSEP) as a means to provide our national federations with the skills to improve their operations and delivery of development programmes.

The objective being that improved and efficient administration, supported by upskilled coaches, will bring about better athlete performance.

OSEP courses have covered sports administration, coaching and strength and conditioning.

In saying the above, I should also mention that the responsibility to develop and prepare athletes for competition lie not so much with FASANOC, but rather the national federations.

Our responsibility is to take Team Fiji to the Pacific Games, Commonwealth and Olympic Games.  We do however assist where we can with team preparation funds where possible and Government’s team preparation grants for these Games are channelled through FASANOC.

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