‘Oso Mai Ra! Let The Music Play On

It was a competition with a difference in Rakiraki Town last Wednesday, October 17, when villages, schools, sporting clubs and civil servants competed in a dance aerobics competition. The event
23 Oct 2018 10:34
‘Oso Mai Ra! Let The Music Play On
Team Vatuse dance to the tune of the music. Photo: FNSC

It was a competition with a difference in Rakiraki Town last Wednesday, October 17, when villages, schools, sporting clubs and civil servants competed in a dance aerobics competition.

The event was organised by the Fiji National Sports Commission.

The oldest participant 72- year-old Sereima Ravutuba of Vitawa Village was the toast for the day braving the wind and rain to display her dance moves at the competition.

The “Oso Mai Ra” project, launched in Rewasa Village in August, was an initiative of the commission.

It supports Wellness Fiji’s definition of “wellness” which defines it as a process of becoming aware and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life.

We must empower our people to take responsibility of their health.

The commission introduced a “Community Fitness Leaders” program in 2016.

The programme involves training participants on basic movement choreography to be able to lead a group in a dance aerobics or zumba session.

The trained fitness leaders would be responsible for initiating physical activities in their communities, including aerobics dancing.

Fifteen villages in Ra were targeted for the initial project. These include- Rewasa, Nokonoko, Namuaimada, Nanukuloa, Vatukacevaceva, Vaileka, Narara, Nananu, Naseyani, Drauniivi, Vatuse, Nausori , Vitawa, Navutulevu and Malake.

Twelve of the villages ran the programme over a 12- week period.

The fitness leaders’ team would move around the villages and help their counterparts deliver their sessions while encouraging teamwork and support.

“It is not easy to motivate people in the community, particularly men, who tend to shy away and reluctant to dance.

“The women on the other hand are very supportive,” says Charlene Lockington, Commission manager in the Western Division and program coordinator.

Combating non-communicable diseases (NCDs) requires partnerships and joint efforts considering it is national issue threatening the health and lives of Fijians from all walks of life.



Vatukacevaceva Village’s aerobics dance group scooped top honours, after a display of breathtaking moves during their presentation.

The 34-member, all women group displayed their moves under rainy conditions.

The heavy rainfall the night before the competition did little to dampen their spirits.

Nausori Village came in second while Vitawa Village pulled third spot and also the eldest participant award was won by Ravutuba.

Rewasa Village (Senicaucau) came fourth and also won the Inclusive Award, which went to 15- year-old Jiuta Bale.

Vatukaloko Secondary School was in fifth place and won the Best Dressed team award.

Nakauvadra High School was in sixth spot but also walked away with their spoils.



Officiating at the event, Minister of Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou applauded the efforts of the villagers who followed the programme through and urged them to continue making healthier food choices and being physically active in their daily lives.

He also acknowledged the commission, for the 15 weeks of hard work put into the programme to make it so successful.

We would like to thank the Ministry of Health nurses in Rakiraki and Tavua who made a lot of sacrifices to assist the commission with weekly medical screenings.

The Ra Fitness Leaders Association is congratulated for pulling it together with the guidance of Sunia Rakuita of the commission.

They are now being challenged to continue to move their people towards physical activity as we work proactively in our fight against non-communicable diseases (NCD’s).

The commission plans to roll out the next project in Serua following Sports Outreach Programme conducted at Navutulevu Village last month.

Similar programmes are planned for other provinces.While it can be challenging to change lifestyle behaviours like eating habits, physical activity could often be a better option considering people could get right into it without giving it too much thought.

You can catch more reports and videos on the Oso Mai Ra Programme from the Commission’s Facebook page.

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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