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Teams Welcomed

The 2014 FIBA-USP Oceania Under-19 Basketball Championships will set the trend for many more international sporting events to be hosted in Fiji. These were the sentiments echoed by the Minister
02 Dec 2014 11:23
Teams  Welcomed
Players from different countries at the opening of the 2014 FIBA-USP Under-19 Oceania Basketball Championships at the Vodafone Arnea yesterday. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

The 2014 FIBA-USP Oceania Under-19 Basketball Championships will set the trend for many more international sporting events to be hosted in Fiji.

These were the sentiments echoed by the Minister for Sports and Youth, Laisenia Tuitubou during the opening ceremony of the tournament yesterday.

In his welcoming speech Tuitubou elaborated on the Government’s plans to secure more hosting rights in the future.

“We are striving to ensure that we establish a better structure and government policy so that we will continue to be granted rights by international bodies to host more international events, not only for basketball but other events.

“We are thriving and we are striving to improve on many aspects of hosting such internationally sanctioned tournaments. Right now we are hosting the Oceania Basketball tournament in Fiji. Earlier this year, as I mentioned before Fiji hosted the Oceania Karate Championships.

“We are yet to secure more major events like the IRB Sevens Series and many more which all depends on our ITC, especially the logistics of all tournaments that have been planned and are proposed to be held locally.”
Tuitubou acknowledged FIBA in allowing Fiji to become the first island country to host the event.

“It is often a rare occasion for developing island nations like Fiji to host an international tournament with so many players from different countries in a venue like Suva. So I personally would like to thank FIBA for granting Fiji the rights to host this event.

“Just two months ago I was chief guest at this same venue to launch the championship logo. Little did I know and realize that I will stand here again today for the honourable Prime Minister at the official opening of this championship.

“It means a lot not only in the basketball community but also to all of us who are involved in sports and in national federations. The Fijian government and the people extend a very warm welcome to all participating teams of Oceania athletes, officials and supporters.”

All ten teams along with their officials were present at the opening ceremony, with Tuitubou lighting the official games cauldron to mark the start of the tournament.

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 

 




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