FIJI NEWS

ISSUES – Sports All the Way

Parties want boost for investment, infrastructure and youth development JOSUA TUWERE suva There is a smorgasbord of ideas from political parties when it comes to improving sports and youth development
05 Aug 2014 08:17

Parties want boost for investment, infrastructure and youth development

JOSUA TUWERE
suva
There is a smorgasbord of ideas from political parties when it comes to improving sports and youth development in the country.
FijiFirst party leader Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama made clear his focus during the 2014 National Budget address.
“Most experts agree that sports are an important element in the development of our youth. Young people learn many things through sport, like personal discipline, perseverance, leadership, and teamwork.
This is important, and Government will continue to support sports and youth development next year,’’ he said during the address.
He highlighted the focus on developing integrated rural sports complexes in Rakiraki, Seaqaqa, Vunidawa, Korovou, Gau and Kadavu and other areas.
Other incentives included in the package included tax concessions for sponsors and support for international coaches.

Fiji United Freedom Party
Of all the ideas, the Fiji United Freedom Party has probably the most ambitious. Potential party leader, Nayagodamu Korovou wants scholarships for all students who want to play professional rugby.
“All secondary schools need a rugby academy that can be staffed by ex-Fijian professional players,’’ he said.
“We also need to look at the China model where they use primary schools as centres for rugby, soccer and other sports. Each school will focus mainly on one sport, even though they play other sports.’’

FLP
The Fiji Labour Party is wary of a rugby-centric approach when it comes to sports development.
“All sports should be given the same support.Too much support is given to rugby,’’ said senior party member Lavenia Padarath.
“Sports is good for the country because it brings people together and from a health perspective it is good for the country, especially young people and we should make it a priority,’’ she said.
The question of how much support should be given expatriate coaches in charge of national teams versus local coaches has also been given consideration.

PDP
Lynda Tabuya of the People’s Democratic Party said: “We think there needs to be processes for ensuring expatriate coaches have a local understudy. This has not been done consistently in the past.’’
“We need to work closely with stakeholders to also improve infrastructure and offer financial grants, fellowships and improve international exposure for our athletes.’’ So what infrastructure needs to be put in place?

NFP
“The National Federation Party plans to build athletics centres in the Western and Northern Division because young people always have to come down to the Central Division because of the facilities,’’ said NFP leader Dr Biman Prasad.
“NFP will review the current National Sports Policy and assess the effectiveness of the policy in developing sports in Fiji.
“NFP will set up a National Sports Institute for training and development in all sports and establish sports academies around the country,’’ he said.

SODELPA
The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) agrees with the need to assess current policies in place.
“What we need is informed decision-making in consultation with the various sporting organisations and the people. We need to review budgetary allocations and the basis of their disbursement. After all, we’re talking about taxpayers money,” said SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.
“We don’t a firm opinion on the use of expatriate coaches, but the decision on whether to use them or not needs to come from the sporting organisations, according to their own needs, but there needs to be consultation with people,” she said.

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj




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