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More $ For Sports, Best For All, Let’s Make Every $ Count

More $ For Sports, Best For All, Let’s Make Every $ Count
fijisun.com.fj
July 01
11:43 2018

All sporting federations should draw direction from the Government initiatives to promote sports.

They should be inspired by the Government’s continued support and lift their game to another level.

The budget allocation provided to the Ministry of Youth and Sports by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, on Thursday should be welcomed by all.

The $24.1 million for 2018-19 financial year is an increase of $1.4m and the onus is on all athletes and officials to make every dollar count.   

The increase is mainly attributed to;

• More international sporting tournaments being hosted in Fiji; and

• A marginal increase in operating expenditures to fund various Fijian sporting organisations.

We are entering a new era and sports has become a marketable commodity more than ever.

Fiji is well known as a tourism destination. But more people are coming to the country to enjoy the best of both worlds- the sun, sea and sand and as a sports tourism destination.

This means that we need to have the proper infrastructure, planning and mind-set to make it work.

The Government has played its role in keeping with the pace in meeting standards and that is why more international tournaments are being hosted in Fiji,

Yesterday the match between the Highlanders and Chiefs was the third year in a row a Super Rugby match was played outside Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan in the past three years.    

Next month, the fifth edition of the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways will be played at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.  World renowned golfer Ernie Els will participate in the four-day event and the South African would not have visited our country had it not been for the event.

It would be hard to rule out, but former world number one Tiger Woods could be the next star to grace the event.

The upcoming tournaments for which the Government has provided allocations are:

ν World Sevens Series, ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup qualification, 2020 Paralympics qualification, FIBA in Oceania U15 Basketball World Championship, Special Olympics Summer World Games 2019, Netball World Cup, Youth Olympic Games and the Pacific Games. ($4,080,000)

ν International tournaments we will host are the ICC East Asia Pacific Sub-Regional World T20 qualifier (Cricket Fiji), 2019 IWF World Junior Championship (Weightlifting Fiji) and International rugby matches- Fiji Rugby Union. ($3,172,585),

Government should also be commended for setting aside $1,656,800 for the engagement of international coaches to foster the development and participation of Fijian athletes at international level.

We won the sevens rugby gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics after securing the services of Englishman Ben Ryan in 2013.

That should be the benchmark and the way forward if we are to be competitive on the international front.

The initiative allows our athletes to be exposed to a higher level of professional coaching and in the end bring pride and joy to all Fijians.

The Government has led the way by providing the funding.

The onus is on everybody involved to make it work and make every dollar count.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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