SPORTS

Fiji Swimming Honours Christchurch Victims

In Suva, the event started with a word of prayer from Reverend James Bhagwan as the swimmers, officials and supporter reflected on what had happened.
23 Mar 2019 09:55
Fiji Swimming Honours Christchurch Victims
Swimmersitaking part in the ‘50x50 on 50’ event at the Damodar Aquatic Centre, Suva on March 21, 2019. Photo: Fiji Swimming

Fijian swimmers took to the Damodar Aquatic Centre and the Nadi Sports Club on Thursday for the ‘50×50 on 50’ event to honour those that lost their lives during last Friday’s Christchurch shooting.

In Suva, the event started with a word of prayer from Reverend James Bhagwan as the swimmers, officials and supporter reflected on what had happened.

“It was a moving time and a spe­cial for everyone present,” stated Fiji Swimming.

Just before the dive, Reverend Bhagwan called for a moment of silence to honour the 50 lives.

The Fiji Swimming community took up the event after receiving an invitation from Dannervirke Swim­ming Club head coach Lin Tozer of Palmerston North in New Zealand.

Tozer had sent a Facebook mes­sage to Fiji Swimming inviting them to join the “50 x 50 on 50 for Christchurch” event.

“The event represents swimming communities showing their sup­port to those who lost their lives in the recent tragic events of March 15 in Christchurch,” said Fiji Swimming general manager David Dugucanavanua.

OVERWHELMING RESPONSE

He said many swimming clubs around the world have completed theirs and this can be seen on the United Aquatic Sports FB page.

These clubs include: Raumati Raptors; Taupo Swim Club; Moore City Marlins Texas USA; Kuirau Park SC; Te Arawa SC; Dannevirke Masterton and Palmerston North; United Aquatic Sports; Rotorua Masters; Manawatu Water Polo; Tauranga Water Polo Club; Utrecht Club in Amsterdam; Pukekohe SC; Trent Bray Swim School; Central City Swim Club Auckland; Swim­ming Bay of Plenty; Thames Swim­ming Club; Fairfield Swimming Club, to name a few.

He said many more clubs are still joining in.

“The invitation was graciously accepted by clubs, coaches and swimmers who are participating to declare that we (together with Christchurch) stand and “utterly reject and condemn” the actions behind what was a sad day for New Zealand – as New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern stated.

“The event was an opportunity for us to talk about the event, and hon­our those that lost their lives.

“As coaches, team managers, ad­ministrators, volunteers who work with a population who ultimately represent the “next generation”, our educators have taken this op­portunity to create awareness.

“It was an opportunity for all, particularly for the children as we showed them how easy showing support looks like, and why it is im­portant during times like this.”

ENDLESS SUPPORT

Dugucanavanua said they’re grateful for the support received from the swimming families, and sponsors namely, Fiji Sports Coun­cil, Fiji Water, Onyx Entertain­ment, Travel Fiji and Goodman Fielder who have provided assis­tance to help them run the event.

Edited by Sheldon Chanel

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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