SPORTS

Put Policies In Place: Talatoka

Sport has a future in the Oceania because it creates employment for islanders, says Sainimili Talatoka. The Oceania Sports Educational Programme (OSEP) co-ordinator made the comment during 5th International Conference
01 May 2015 07:50
Put Policies In Place: Talatoka
Vidya Lakhan (nearest to camera), with other delegates during the ONOC seminar at GPH, Suva yesterday. Photo: Rama

Sport has a future in the Oceania because it creates employment for islanders, says Sainimili Talatoka.

The Oceania Sports Educational Programme (OSEP) co-ordinator made the comment during 5th International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS V) in Suva yesterday.

Talatoka said there needed to be a policy set in place to educate people that sports was more than just physical activity nowadays.

“You need to have a policy and strategy in place. You have to provide the necessary resources so people know that aside from having an academic career they can now have a career, through sport,” she said.

“Through the ministries and governments we need to create a conducive environment. For instance, when the 7s team wins, we all jump in but we have to start asking ourselves on whether we are creating that environment to produce more champions, increase participation because sport is more on the side.

“Having policies encourages people to take part and that’s why Sports ministers are important to set policies in place at a ministerial level.”

However, this cannot be achieved without the help of stakeholders in the country to get more people involved in sport not just as a hobby.

“The main thing is the partnership with the stakeholders because we cannot get things done in isolation and for us to move to the next level we need to work together,” she said.

“For sports its mostly volunteers, so now with the support of OSEP, we will have to start engaging people to be paid to do sport because its a business and that’s the change from being a volunteer and doing it when you feel like it, to a more structured and co-ordinated process.

“My main goal was to let others know that there is work that has been done and we have done it as a region because we don’t have the resources to do it individually.

“Through the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) we can say that we have something.”

Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou said Fiji was not far behind and that we are slowly heading into that direction.

“What we have been doing is focusing on providing necessary resources, especially to schools in rural areas, to get them started and get them involved in sport,” he said.

“One thing I remember Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Ben Ryan saying is that Fijians have the potential to be up there in sport, but three things they need to work on is their diet, they need to know their purpose and they need to change their attitude.”

Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 



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