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ONOC Appointment For Matai Akauola

Former senior sports journalist  and prominent media executive Matai Akauola is now the new regional media development specialist at Oceania National Olympic Committees. He spoke to Fiji Sun sports journalist
22 Oct 2014 12:06
ONOC Appointment For Matai Akauola
Guard commander Sgt. Venina Naitogotogo (left) with her team of RFMF personnel during the State House Change of Guard ceremony on November 30, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Former senior sports journalist  and prominent media executive Matai Akauola is now the new regional media development specialist at Oceania National Olympic Committees. He spoke to Fiji Sun sports journalist ANASILINI RATUVA about his new appointment

SUN: How do you feel being appointed as a new regional media development specialist in ONOC?
AKAUOLA: I feel excited to be a part of ONOC as its media/ communications person. I first attended an ONOC gathering in the early 90s and have attended several workshops after that. As a former member of International Sports Press and former president of Fiji Sports Journalist Association, I even attended a workshop at Olympia in Greece. I have worked closely ever since with ONOC and its affiliates in the past years even covering several Olympic Games.

SUN: What would be the most challenging task in this new job?
AKAUOLA: It’s early days and the challenge would be getting the media to work closely with their National Olympic Committees and vice-versa where sports administrators and sporting bodies train journalists to better understand their sport.

SUN: Dealing with regional countries, what do you hope to achieve during the three years contract?
AKAUOLA: I believe it’ll be a win-win for both ONOC and sports journalism. I’m already planning for major meetings like the ONOC General Assembly in Suva in late next April. The IOC President will be here for that and it means the Olympic eyes will be in Fiji. We’ve got the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby and eventually the Rio Olympics Workshops are being planned to get regional sports journalists to these events.

SUN: What is your first task?
AKAUOLA: My first task is getting the Oceania sport portal to be more user friendly for ONOC members. I have a meeting with Fox Sporting Pulse in Sydney on November 10 on my way back from the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand.

SUN: Is there anyone in particular you want to dedicate this to?
AKAUOLA: I’ll always be grateful firstly to the Lord, my wife and children and those who have been part of my journey- Peter Lomas, William Parkinson, Graham Eden, Francis Herman, Vasiti Waqa and Dr Robin Mitchell to name a few.

About Matai Akauola:
Finished school at Queen Victoria School in 1980 and started work at the Fiji Sun in 1981. He joined FM96 in 1985 and took sports coverage to another level with sports correspondents and commentators covering at all sporting centre. He later went on to Fiji TV in 1995 when it started. Akauola was sports editor for the Fiji Times from 1996-1999. He joined Fiji Broadcasting Corporation from 1999 to 2007. He was FBC news director from 2003-2007. He became the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) manager from 2007-2013 before he took up the position director for Media Industry Development Authority of Fiji from 2013- 2014.
Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

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