Fiji Sports

Rugby stakeholders discuss disciplinary body

ERONI TUINACEVA Suva The Fiji Rugby Union believes it needs to take more proactive steps towards establishing an independent disciplinary process to be followed in Fiji. This was brought up
19 Jul 2014 11:21

Participants at the first Fiji Rugby Union judicial workshop in Suva. Photo: Fiji Rugby Union


The Fiji Rugby Union believes it needs to take more proactive steps towards establishing an independent disciplinary process to be followed in Fiji.
This was brought up by FRU board member Dr Esther Williams yesterday during the launch of the first ever FRU judicial workshop.
Dr. Williams explained in her opening address how the idea for the workshop came about and spoke on the need for such a disciplinary process in Fiji.
“Last month FRU through the International Rugby Board funding sent four people to attend the Judicial Workshop held in Auckland funded by the IRB. On their return, Ana Tuiketei presented a report to the FRU Board.
“The report made a number of recommendations and one of them was to have such a judicial workshop with a number of objectives, the main one being the establishment and implementation of our own independent disciplinary process for rugby.
“There is no doubt of the importance of discipline in sport and the need for a discipline process in place in rugby.
“It was clear in my mind that FRU must have a functioning discipline system if it is to progress further internationally in its winning performance.
“When this board came in May 2013, the rugby discipline framework and plan did not exist. There was no independent disciplinary system.
“The Match Commissioners are given dual responsibilities of both judge and jury for rugby tournaments in Fiji. This was a situation that saw us confronted with various challenges during tournaments and proved not good for rugby. In most cases there is no fair hearing, no transparent disciplinary processes or ways of appeal.
“Support to those making disciplinary decisions was not readily available, information that would have allowed them to assess the seriousness of on-field foul play and determining and deciding the motivating factors.”
Dr Williams elaborated on the outline of the workshop and objectives FRU hoped to achieve through the two-day workshop.
“In the two days we hope that these objectives will be met; educate and train participants especially members of legal fraternity, team managers and coaches on the IRB system; expose participants to the system of sanctioning during IRB tournaments and IRB judicial hearings; to discuss the roles of judicial officers and citing commissioners in every tournament; and by the end of the workshop, we will be able to map the way forward for FRU in terms of developing its own independent disciplinary process.”
Dr Williams stressed on the importance of discipline as the key to winning a game at any level.
“Discipline is an important part of any plan and path to excellence, success and international quality standards. No discipline, no progress.
All rugby players from the very young to adult players will have to play rugby that is to the highest international standard.
“No discipline, no winning. No discipline, reputation damage sets in. No discipline, we lose confidence and goodwill. No discipline, we lose fans and growth of rugby. Rugby in Fiji is 100 years going. We must ensure that the sport continues to grow and get stronger.
“No one likes an undisciplined game. I have watched many matches locally, regionally and internationally and have to say that discipline is key to winning at any level but most of all the international level.”
Dr Williams also announced funding from the IRB would soon be fully restored to the FRU as final details were sorted out.
“I am also pleased to report that we are on the verge of restoring full funding from the IRB,” Dr Williams said.
“A meeting with IRB officials on June 21 agreed on a number of outcomes. Going forward we look forward to IRB’s assistance in other areas especially development.
“Programmes, financial assistance of key positions, the High Performance Unit, women’s rugby, schools’ rugby, strategic planning and constitutional understanding. We are happy with the developments now with IRB.”
The workshop, facilitated by IRB judicial panel chair Tim Greeson, is being held at the University of the South Pacific’s Japan-Pacific ICT Centre in Laucala Bay, Suva and ends today at 1pm.

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