EDITORIAL: Push For Excellence Incentive For Our Athletes

Shop N Save Athletics Fiji has set a target for its athletes to achieve at the 2015 Pacific Games in July. The administrators are putting the processes and the mechanisms
05 Apr 2015 10:02
EDITORIAL: Push For Excellence Incentive For Our Athletes
Sprints coach Bola Tafou (left), and Shop N Save Athletics Fiji president Joseph Rodan (senior) with the Tony Moore trophy at Athletics Fiji office in Suva. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

Shop N Save Athletics Fiji has set a target for its athletes to achieve at the 2015 Pacific Games in July.

The administrators are putting the processes and the mechanisms in place to enable the athletes to win 16 gold medals at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby.

Athletics Fiji is on the hunt to win back its number one status as the champion of the track and field in the region.

Fiji won the inaugural South Pacific Games in 1963 in Suva and has struggled to reclaim the top spot despite hosting the four-yearly event in Suva in 1979 and 2003.

Athletics Fiji president Joseph Rodan (senior), continues to take the sport in leaps and bound since taking office with his new team 10 months ago.

In partnership with Shop N Save Supermarket, Athletics Fiji will be offering each athlete that wins gold at the 2015 Pacific Game $350 and $150 to the coach as a form of incentive. This is the first of its kind for any minor sport in Fiji concerning the Pacific Games. The only sport known for rewarding its players with bonus is rugby.

Rodan believes Athletics Fiji needs to take a lead role if Team Fiji should attain its target of 84 gold medals in Port Moresby.

“I believe if we add a decent reward per gold medal for the athletes and coaches, and make it known to them now, this will assist in getting them to work and drive a little harder with much more hunger

“Our athletes have always been driven by passion and determination and it’s about time at the biggest show in the Pacific region that they be rewarded decently for their achievement(s).

It’s no small feat becoming the best in the Pacific and this can only happen officially when you win gold at the Pacific Games.”

In order to be officially known as the best in the Pacific, you need to win a gold medal at the Pacific Games

Mr Rodan (senior) also applauded the Shop N Save Supermarket for its sponsorship of $65,000 that has helped the sport greatly.

For the first time ever also, Athletics Fiji will be paying for all the 36 team members’ levies of $1,600 per athlete, which totals to $57,600, which relieves the coaches, athletes and managers of the burden of having to fundraise for funds to represent Fiji. Now they can focus on training hard, and getting themselves into the best shape.

Meanwhile, two of Athletics Fiji gold medal prospects Milika Tuivanuavou and Eugene Volmer depart for USA today  for two weeks to compete at the Pomona Pitzer Invitational, Mt. SAC Relays, and Azusa Pacific Invitational Track & Field Meets.

This again is a great achievement for Athletics Fiji. It reflects the great strides Athletics Fiji has taken since Mr Rodan (senior) and his team took over its administration.

As the organisation grows in strength, it’s ability to attract sponsors also increases. The securing of financial sponsorship has allowed Tuivanuavou and Volmer to train and compete in the US.

They are the third group of athletes in the last two months to have the opportunity to train and compete at overseas build-up competition towards the Pacific Games.

At the rate Athletics Fiji is going, athletes are heading for a bagful of gold in the Pacific Games.


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