Big Year In 2017, Says Rodan Jnr

Fiji beat PNG to host Oceania Championship Athletics Fiji (AF) officials are happy at how the 2016 season turned out and are now looking forward to a successful 2017. AF
19 Dec 2016 11:00
Big Year In 2017, Says Rodan Jnr
Team Fiji athelete Sisilia Seavula at the Nadi International Airport yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Fiji beat PNG to host Oceania Championship

Athletics Fiji (AF) officials are happy at how the 2016 season turned out and are now looking forward to a successful 2017.

AF chief development officer, Joseph Rodan Jnr said their main aim is to successfully host the Oceania Championship in June, next year and hopefully qualify for the World Championship in London in August.

“We were successful at hosting the Melanesian Championship where over 200 Under-18 athletes were able to gain exposure at a regional meet,”Rodan Jnr said.

“This was good for our athletes, as it enabled them to compete against the best from the Pacific.”

AF also commended the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) for their support.

“The IAAF made available funds of $50,000 to all national federations but it was under strict conditions. This is where you have a governance policy, your constitution and activity calendar. So with us when we applied for it we used it as development in gaining new equipments to be used in the Melanesia Games so we had a great opportunity. A lot of Pacific Island nations had missed out because they weren’t able to comply.

“The money is big and we used it on development initiatives like the Elite Talent Identification. This is because our plan for athletes is to keep moving forward so we will be able to pick a team to focus on the 2020 Olympics. That was part of our proposal.  We were going to select 10 athletes, we will work on average and our objective was to make our athletes qualify on merit,” he said.

Four athletes have been chosen to prepare for the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia in 2018.

“The appointment of Eugene Vollmer, Sisislia Seavula, Bola Tafou, Makereta Naulu and Antonio Raboiliku who were picked all over the Pacific region to go to Griffith University in Australia for the Commonwealth Development Programme. This is a three-phase programme which they will undertake next year as a build- up towards the Commonwealth Games and they are all fully sponsored.

“AF is an example to all which speaks volume on how we’re progressing.  Our BSP programme has reached out to grassroots in primary schools.

“We ran Level One coaching courses and we accredited Level three coaches and technical officials in workshops that were held by Oceania here in Fiji.

“Our federation was given the good performance recognition from Oceania and also the merit award was given to me.

“All countries gave in their nominees and I was the nomination from Fiji so we won that.

“That award is the culmination of the work that we do in Athletics Fiji.

“The other biggest achievement was beating the million dollar bid from PNG for the hosting rights of the 2017 Oceania Games which is expected to be bigger than the Melanesian Games and even the Pacific Games itself.

“The Oceania Games that’s inclusive of countries outside Melanesia- that’s Polynesia, Micronesia, Australia and New Zealand.

“In the sports awards we won the best governance in terms of the best sporting organisation from the Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC) which was our biggest achievement.

“We all know we can’t do anything without money so with FNSC and the Ministry of Sports funding we are in the right track so we will try to get our basics right and will build our foundation once we get that right.

“It will be easier for us to build-up from there especially to our athletes and our technical officials,” Rodan Jnr added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua




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