SPORTS

Mazey: Transport a challenge for para-athletes

The Fiji National Sports Commis­sion executive chairman said plans were in motion to secure sponsor­ship for the transportation of para-athletes.
09 Feb 2019 10:30
Mazey: Transport a challenge for para-athletes

Transportation funding re­mains a major challenge for Fijian para-athletes, says Pe­ter Mazey.

The Fiji National Sports Commis­sion executive chairman said plans were in motion to secure sponsor­ship for the transportation of para-athletes

He was speaking at the British Government’s announcement of $25,000 in funding for Fiji’s Para­lympic Committee at Gordon House, Suva yesterday.

“The hardest challenge that our para-athletes have at the moment is transport. For example, we hardly have any taxis that can take people on wheelchairs,” Mazey said.

“We are hoping that we can find good sponsorship to get the right vehicles for our para-athletes. The Paralympic committee is working on that, too.”

Funding is a common problem for sporting federations in Fiji, partic­ularly the smaller ones.

However, Mazey believes it boils down to appointing the right peo­ple, especially those with strong business-acumen.

“Interestingly, a large number of presidents and directors of our sporting federations are influential people from the corporate sector,” he said.

“If we can get every sporting body to have an executive that is forward-looking and has a commercial look on things, it makes it easier to get funding.

“I’m very proud of the sponsor­ship by the British Government and the big change has been in hav­ing an executive that knows busi­ness and is able to get out there and do the best for the athletes.”

On Government funding, Mazey said: “In the past, with previous Governments, you’d be lucky to get 10 per cent (of the funding).

“Now we have a policy of giving a minimum of 50-60 per cent, and the sporting bodies have to raise the ex­tra funding themselves.

“The major part of our funding goes to the preparation of the ath­letes that includes scholarships, bringing in specialists to run work­shops and so on.”

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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