Pull Away Eileen, Boycott Levuka Pack

Eileen Cikamatana should do the right thing and pull away from the boycotting and now suspended Levuka Weightlifting Club. The glamour girl from Taviya, Ovalau, who captured the spotlight and
15 Jun 2018 10:44
Pull Away Eileen, Boycott Levuka Pack
Eileen Cikamatana celebrates winning gold during the 90/+90kg final during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre on April 9, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. Photo: Zimbio.

Eileen Cikamatana should do the right thing and pull away from the boycotting and now suspended Levuka Weightlifting Club.

The glamour girl from Taviya, Ovalau, who captured the spotlight and the hearts of the many when she won the country’s only gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April, should change course for her own good and for the better.

It would be really unfortunate that her promising weightlifting future which has been projected to peak at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics should come to a sudden stop.

This is all because of the unnecessary pressure from the Levuka Weightlifting Club (LVC) for her to leave the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Noumea and join the boycott simply because they disagree on the appointment of Hossein Tavakoli as national coach.

In the long run Cikamatana and the young lifters will suffer, not the officials and those behind the scenes who tried to push their own agenda thinking that they are above sport itself.

Weightlifting Fiji is the controlling authority of the sport in Fiji, period. And through its recommendation to the Fiji Association of Sports National Olympic Committee (FASANOC), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) provided scholarships to Cikamatana, Manueli Tulo and Apolonia Vaivai.

It was through this scholarship that Cikamatana was able to attend the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Noumea.

Like the LWC, Cikamatana has been suspended from all Weightlifting Fiji activities as from June 10.

Weightlifting Fiji is in the process of recommending to FASANONC that they review granting IOC scholarship to Cikamatana as she is unlikely to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the current circumstances.

It’s unbecoming for an elite athlete to behave in such a manner given that she was provided everything to succeed. But she was driven to join the boycott with the LWV thinking it would add weight to their cause.

But in the end they all lose out and now suspended.

Furthermore WF executive board will be appointing an independent tribunal to review the facts of the situation and recommend any action that may be taken against Cikamatana.

But Cikamatana and the lifters of Levuka still have a chance as WF is keeping its door open.

Athletes under suspension may return to participating in WF activities, by formally disassociating themselves from the boycott.

WF has set procedures in place for athletes to follow if they wish to return.

It’s so unfortunate that the LWC continues to stand in solidarity. For what, one might ask.

WF has been recognised for their effort over the years. It was the sports organisation of the year during the 2017 Fiji Sports Awards and that shows the sport is in good hands.

The late Vilitati Qumivutia and Quake Raddock helped in the formation of WF and represented Fiji with pride.

Qumivutia was the very first athlete to ever represented Fiji at an International weightlifting competition at the 1962  British Empire & Commonwealth Games, held in Perth, Australia where he was placed 4th in the 110kg category with a combined lift of 735 lbs.

His participation was only able to take place after the formation of a Weightlifting Association in Fiji in which he played a key role.

Raddock made his debut for Fiji at the 1973 Oceania Champs and ended at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The current generation, especially the LVC, have taken the sport to another level with their success in the regional and international competitions.

But they need to get back on track and be part of the system.

WF has done its part in an effort for them to see sense,

The onus is on them to change tact as all are governed by the rules of the game.

They will be left isolated if they don’t.


Edited by  Leone  Cabenatabua


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