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Editorial: Finding New Ways Through Sports Tourism To Spur Economy

Sports play a vital role in boosting the country’s economy, which in turn will trickle down to benefit every Fijian. This was highlighted by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while opening
29 Jan 2018 13:01
Editorial: Finding New Ways Through Sports Tourism To Spur Economy
Fiji Airways Fiji 7s rover Eroni Sau on his way to score against USA in the Cup quarterfinals on January 28, 2018. Photo: Oceania Rugby

Sports play a vital role in boosting the country’s economy, which in turn will trickle down to benefit every Fijian.

This was highlighted by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while opening the refurbished Fiji Sports Council head office and re-opening of the FMF Gymnasium on Saturday night.

He indicated that is the reason why Government is committed in making sports tourism work for the country as they have invested in the hosting of the Fiji International (golfing event) and one of the Super Rugby matches.

Now with government’s blessing, the Fiji Rugby Union is making a bid to World Rugby to host a World Sevens Series tournament by 2020.

And it does not rest there, as we’ve got international events like the Pan- Pacific Swimming Championship, 2019 IWF World Junior Weightlifting Championships and in 2021 INF World Under-20 Netball Cup being lined-up.

We’ve got to realise that as the hub of the Pacific we have a great potential as a premier destination for sports where at the same time we are putting Fiji on the map for sports fans around the world.

Mr Bainimarama has reiterated that Government is finding new ways through sports tourism to spur our economy, where there could be more development to benefit the people.

Last week, he visited Vanua Levu where he opened a slate of new development projects, extending critical services and delivering new infrastructure for ordinary Fijians.

This, Mr Bainimarama says, was made possible through our economy which has grown at such a tremendous rate.

Already, Mr Bainimarama’s Government has taken action in the development of sporting facilities around the country.

These are;

  • This year, the Government is spending $2.1million to complete the long awaited Vunisea Sports Complex in Kadavu and the Sawaieke Sports Complex in Gau while construction continues for the Vunidawa Sports Complex in Naitasiri
  • Currently construction works on a 10-lane Olympic competition size pool is ongoing in Lautoka and a new Valelevu Sports Stadium, Nasinu
  • These are done along with dozens of rural sports fields throughout the country.
  • Plans are in place for the refurbishment of the Vodafone Arena.

Mr Bainimarama said the newly opened Fiji Sports Council headquarters is a $4m investment in a modern multi-purpose sports administration complex.

This is only the beginning as the complex will continue to grow and become Fiji and the Pacific’s largest fully integrated sports centre- a one stop shop for sporting events, with world class accommodation facilities so we can support bigger and better sporting competitions in the years to come.

Mr Bainimarama said after a year works have been completed on Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, while in Suva, there is the newly redeveloped Albert Park.

This has brought an energy to the Capital City unlike anything we’ve seen before.

“Every day after work you can see hundreds of people working out and playing soccer, rugby, cricket and tennis on the park. Fijians staying healthy, spending time with family and enjoying the benefits of a growing economy,” he added.

Leone Cabenatabua        

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj


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