SPORTS

Rodan Jnr Backs Banuve’s Concern

“It’s sad to see that we have athletes who only to go to school for the first term and after that you don’t see them at all.
08 Apr 2019 13:52
Rodan Jnr Backs Banuve’s Concern
Joe Roden (jr) during Pacific Games trails at ANZ Stadium on April 6, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

A national athletics official has raised concerns about student athletes only staying in school for the first term to participate in the Fiji Secondary Schools Athletics Finals (Coca- Cola Games).

Athletics Fiji’s chief development officer Joseph Rodan Jnr claims some schools ‘poach’ student athletes from other schools and forget about them once the athletics season ends.

He says the treatment was tantamount to “exploitation.”

As a result, Rodan Jnr says, some student athletes have a bleak future because little consideration was being given to their education.

“It’s sad to see that we have athletes who only to go to school for the first term and after that you don’t see them at all.

Years later they are seen roaming around with no future,” he said. “We can name a lot of athletes who do this but we won’t. They’re just jumping from school to school and their whole focus is on first term
athletics.”

Rodan Jnr says it must be understood that most sports in Fiji was in its amateur stages and athletes could not earn a living from it.

He has urged schools to work with the talent they have through strong development platforms and coaching structures.

“Most of these kids are talented. If you have a good programme from the sub-junior and junior grades, because that’s when the kids are still developing, you will reap the benefits in the inter and senior grades,” he said.

“I hope all the stakeholders involved come to their senses for the sustainability of the sport and the benefits of the sport and specifically for the students.”

Rodan Jnr represented Marist Brothers High School at the Coca- Cola Games from 1991 to 1996.

He was inducted into the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame last month, and has represented Fiji for 10 years at the top level.

The concerns were first raised by national sprinter Banuve Tabakaucoro, though Rodan Jnr is the first high-level athletics official to speak out.

Both have stopped short of naming any school.

The Coca-Cola Games will be on April 16-18 at Suva’s ANZ Stadium.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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