SPORTS

Punching Above Our Weight

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) has had an amazing year filled with so many firsts and comebacks. Team Fiji led by the first female Chef
22 Dec 2016 11:00
Punching Above Our Weight
Team Fiji athletes with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, (from left) Matelita Buadromo (swimmimg), Bainimarama, Sally Yee ( table tennis), Sisilia Seavula (athletics) and Meli Malani (swimming). Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) has had an amazing year filled with so many firsts and comebacks.

Team Fiji led by the first female Chef de Mission to an Olympic Games,  Cathy Wong, managed to win its first ever Olympic gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in the rugby sevens.

It was also the largest Olympic contingent ever to leave Fiji shores.

Captained by Osea Kolinisau, the side defeated Team Great Britain to win the sport’s first ever gold medal since rugby was first introduced in 1900 and last played in 1924.

For it’s amazing effort, the Team Fiji Men’s 7s team has been recognized by several international sporting organizations, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) amongst them, as the best male team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Team Fiji also participated in the sport of table tennis for the first time with the baby of the team Sally Yee making her inaugural appearance on the Olympic stage.

Team Fiji Football showcased true sportsmanship in its first ever Olympic Games with Deputy Chef de Mission, Wayne O’Connor, saying that the footballers were the happiest team at the Olympics.

Boxer Winston Hill also made Fiji proud fighting to the final round before going out on points in a sport that was making it’s comeback for Fiji at the Olympic Games after 28 years.

Weightlifters Apolonia Vaivai and Manueli Tulo with swimmers Matelita Buadromo and Meli Malani showcased why they deserved to be part of Team Fiji with impressive lifts and times in their respective sports.

Team Fiji women’s rugby 7s team also had a stellar performance defeating powerhouse Team United States and Team Colombia to make it to the quarterfinals before succumbing to Team Great Britain.

Seasoned Olympians archery’s Robert Elder and shooting’s Glenn Kable were proud to have earned their Olympic Games places through qualification on merit and were able to add their experience and support to team mates participating at their first Olympic Games.

Team Fiji was also represented at the Paralympic Games by Epeli Baleibau in High Jump and Mere Roden in Table Tennis, who were also attending their first Paralympic Games and performed credibly.

On the home front, FASANOC staff received training to enhance their professional skills and including sponsorship marketing manager Sitiveni Tawakevou attending an IOC Olympic Marketing Seminar in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Opportunities for training were also extended to FASANOC volunteers who attended various training and workshops throughout the year to better equip themselves to help FASANOC and National Federations.

2016 saw the implementation of FASANOC’s Resurgence Agenda and development of its 2017 – 2021 Strategic Plan.  The Resurgence Agenda, supported by a grant from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and focused primarily on sports targeted for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, is aimed at building the capacity of our National Federations, both in administration and coaching.

The objective being to ensure that Team Fiji to the 2018 Commonwealth Games is well supported in its preparations, giving athletes the potential to excel at the Games.

FASANOC thanks and congratulates the National Federations who stepped up to the challenge of hosting in Fiji during the year.

These that included the Oceania Competitions – Basketball, Rugby 7s, Swimming Weightlifting, Tennis, Beach and Indoor Volleyball and Table Tennis Championships.

These tournaments allowed our athletes to compete against the region’s  best athletes, providing excellent exposure and competition with several billed as Olympic Games qualifying events.

We also acknowledge National Federations who provided opportunities for high level competition for athletes to excel in.

Fiji and FASANOC would also like to thank all its stakeholders, sponsors and supporters for their support throughout the year.

We particularly acknowledge the support and cooperation of IOC Olympic Solidarity, the Rio Organizing Committee, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Fiji National Sports Commission, the Fiji Sports Council and our major sponsors like Vodafone, BLK, BSP, FIJI Water and JR White.

In acknowledging the outstanding performances of 2016, FASANOC also pays tribute to the resilence of our sports people in moving forward after Tropical Cyclone Winston and excelling despite the challenges in the aftermath of the Cyclone.

In 2017 the FASANOC staff will be bolstered by two new staff and  FASANOC is  pleased to welcome into its Fiji Olympic House family Olympian Makelesi Batimala as its new Sports Development Officer  and Fesaitu Mario as Team Fiji CGF Administrator.

2016 was definitely a milestone year  FASANOC and only made possible with the support of our National Federations, sponsors, supporters and friends.

Source: FASANOC

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