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Commission Backs Bati’s Preparation

Commission Backs Bati’s Preparation
From left: Fiji National Rugby League chief executive officer Timoci Naleba receives the $515,000 cheque from the Fiji National Sports Commission chairman Peter Mazey at the FNRL office, Suva on September 15, 2017. Photo: Grace Narayan
September 16
10:00 2017

The Vodafone Fiji Bati’s preparation for the Rugby League World Cup from October 27 to December 3 received a major boost yesterday.

This was after the Fiji National Sports Commission gave $515,000 to the Fiji National Rugby League.

Commission chairman Peter Mazey said they’re working closely with FNRL regarding the Bati’s preparation for the RLWC.

“I’m grateful to government for their support and commitment towards the Fiji Bati and we’re hoping that you prove to the world that we’re number one in rugby league,” Mazey said.

“The grant given by the commission is for preparations for the rugby league world cup. This includes training and accommodation of players as well the airfares for non-resident players as they come over to play.

“However, the participation cost is covered by the Rugby League International Federation. We’re impressed with what has happened in the past and one of our key goals is working in the rural areas in identifying talents and to introduce new sports.

“Fiji Sports Commission has a team of people right around the country, principally working with Fiji National Rugby League as well as NRL who have a team of people also doing development work.

“So, together we’re taking the sport to a lot of areas. It’s been very successful in introducing club rugby league in Dreketi and some parts of the Northern division.

“We now realise that a lot of these youths from the clubs are playing in rugby league competitions and we’re also happy to assist the Fiji Residents tour to Canada where we provided $60,000.”

FNRL chief executive officer Timoci Naleba was overwhelmed with the financial assistance.

“We acknowledge the contribution of government towards the development of rugby league in the country. The funding has taken rugby league to a lot of areas that we really need to develop. I know that we still need much to do and it’s through this funding that we’re able to work on the very important areas in terms development.”

Naleba said preparations for the Battle of the Bati’s set for October 7 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva is going well.

“The Battle of the Bati will feature top Australian based- Fijian players coming over to take on the resident players. So this will be a testing ground for players as it’s one of meeting the criteria for selection to the Fiji Bati side for the Tri-Nations Cup and the Rugby League World Cup.

“Our local boys have performed well this year so this year’s Battle of the Bati will be an exciting one as there will be quality of players with higher level of game intensity. Also, almost players here have the possibilities of qualifying into the Bati squad for the world cup,” Naleba added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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