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Building Fitter, Healthier Pacific Forces

Building Fitter, Healthier Pacific Forces
Warrant Officer Samantha Marra (Royal New Zealand Air Force) and chief instructor Flight Sergeant Leo Wiapo (Royal New Zealand Air Force) who are in Fiji to run the first regional physical training instructor’s course. Photo: Rosi Doviverata
May 02
11:56 2018

The first regional security forces physical train­ing instructor’s course that kicks off next week should set the platform for fitter and healthier personnel.

On the request of a number of Pacific island countries, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Austral­ian Defence Force and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces have jointly put together a month-long pro­gramme to motivate and inspire 21 con­firmed participants.

For years, defence forces in the region have faced simi­lar challenges in terms of the health and fitness of its personnel.

One common factor is the heavy workload. As a result defence personnel generally do not focus on themselves.

Another factor is not having the right systems in place.

The month-long programme aims to address these challenges. But New Zealand and Australian instructors are mindful of implementing a programme tailor-made for the Pacific.

Over the past years, the Fiji Police Force, the RFMF and the Fiji Corrections Service have set up health audit initiatives to curb this on-going problem.

Last year the Fiji Police through its Health Audit checks noted the need to change lifestyle behaviour.

Chairman of the Fiji Police Welfare Group, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Luke Navela had said: “Many of our officers are dying very young and the need to change lifestyle behaviour and get our officers mov­ing and living a more active life is critical if we are to avoid further loss of life”.

Earlier this year the Force opened a new gym at the Po­lice Headquarters at Centrepoint, Laucala Beach.

The emphasis is to ensure those Police men and women get their health and fitness issues right in order to de­liver valuable service to the people of Fiji.

Out of the 21 participants confirmed for the pro­gramme, 6 are women.

The course has been labelled as an all-round Pacifica programme with mixed forces, mixed ranks and mixed gender participation.

The 21 participants are from Niue, Cook Islands, Sa­moa, PNG, Tonga and Fiji.

They are expected to return to their different Forces fit­ter, healthier and motivated – equipped with the skills to instruct their own forces in physical training, improv­ing their fitness and health.

ROSI DOVIVERATA

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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