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PM: Develop, Grow Rugby

Provincial rugby union leaders were urged to take the Fijian brand to another level. The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, challenged the major union officials and administrators while officiating at the
30 Jun 2015 13:07
PM: Develop, Grow Rugby
From left: Lautoka coaching director Apakuki Vacala, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, and Rakaso Naimau of the Lautoka Rugby Union at the Fiji Rugby Union Development workshop at the Outrigger Fiji Beach resort yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Provincial rugby union leaders were urged to take the Fijian brand to another level.

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, challenged the major union officials and administrators while officiating at the FRU development workshop at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort in Sigatoka yesterday.

“We are here to develop our rugby programme with an eye toward world competition,” he said.

“But few players will reach that level, so we know that our work has a much deeper social value that we must all embrace.”

He said Fiji has more than 65,000 registered rugby players from Kaji to the elite, with most of the energy, attention and financial support aimed at the few elite, including local provincial unions.

The workshop is part of Leading Rugby – a programme initiated by World Rugby to help unions with governance, administration, participation, high performance, women’s rugby and finances. It was first introduced in 2014 in Tahiti.

“Through this, we empower the provincial unions and local programmes to develop and grow; I thank the new Board for this initiative,” Bainimarama said.

He said rugby was a great unifier in this country, because all Fijians rally around our national teams, but it can be a much greater unifier.

“We have before us the opportunity to encourage our women to aspire to the same championship form as our men, to encourage more women to take up the sport. We have before us the opportunity to increase our talent pool by encouraging people from all our communities to play rugby, beginning at a young age.

“In my opinion, it’s critical, because to draw from the largest pool of talent that we can possibly assemble, we cannot afford to overlook anyone. This rugby development workshop is the starting point of that change.

“Fiji is blessed with a massive amount of local talent and resources. We have been testing the world’s best with these talents. Imagine if we strengthen our local unions with proper governance and leadership, coaching, refereeing, strength and conditioning, and medical knowledge.”

He urged participants to take what they have learned to the communities to become even more energetic apostles for rugby, work from the grassroots to cement Fiji permanently as a rugby world power across all divisions. The workshop ends today.

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 



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