SPORTS

Coke Games 2019: Keep Spirit Alive Says Nemani

Sports may often be considered nothing more than just sports or fun game, but they’ve played a major role in our society and the development of an individual.
17 Apr 2019 12:06
Coke Games 2019: Keep Spirit Alive Says Nemani
From left: Permanent Secretary for Youth and Sports Maretino Nemani and Coca-Cola Amatil general manager Roger Hare with the Coca-Cola Games touch at the ANZ Stadium, Suva on April 16, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Permanent Secretary for Youth and Sports Maretino Nemani has urged all athletes to stay focused and compete in the true Coca- Cola Games spirit.

He made the comment during the official opening of the Fiji Secondary Schools Athletics Fiji Finals (known as the Coca-Cola Games) at the ANZ Sta­dium, yesterday.

“I’m happy to join you today in what will go down in Fiji’s history as the biggest, best and fiercely competed secondary schools athletics competition meet of all times,” the former Marist Brothers High School student said.

“Sports may often be considered nothing more than just sports or fun game, but they’ve played a major role in our society and the development of an individual.” Nemani said like any other event sports there are exciting times and also moments of disappointment.

“However, they have turned immature boys and girls into exceptional men and women and truly transcend any sports dreams they were ever sup­posed to accomplish.

“This invite has been special to me- apart from football, like all athletes that will be competing today and in the next two days, I too once upon a time breezed this National Stadium turf in the sprints event (100m, 200m and 4x100m relays) for Marist Brothers High School.

“I was fortunate to be one of the few athletes to run the 100m below 11 seconds and assisted my Marist colleagues set new records in different age groups.

“This momentous event came as a great beacon light of hope to many aspiring and developing ath­letes in our Fiji schools, in particular those who will be competing here at the Coke Games for the first time.

“Let me tell you this is you’re competing for the first time- winning and losing is part of sports however you must give it your best shot, for this time will never come around again.

“I love the quote by Michael Irvin (Dallas Cowboys)….’Look up, get up, and don’t ever give up. You tell everyone or anyone that has ever doubted, thought they did not measure up, or wanted to quit. You tell them to look up, get up, and don’t give ever give up.’

Nemani said Government is committed to sports and the results achieved by our national sports teams are testimony of its investment in sports development.

“Rugby union being a notable evidence and our recent win in Hong Kong making it five-years in-a- row will be difficult to replicate.

“This government also recognises and acknowl­edges that we live in an inclusively society, assist­ing our minor sports like para-Olympics and Spe­cial Olympics.

“Their achievements winning 7 gold, 4 silvers and 6 bronze medals at the recent Special Olym­pics in Abu Dhabi demonstrates that the govern­ment recognises an inclusive sports philosophy.”

Nemani revealed that the Ministry of Youth and Sports is currently reviewing the draft sports and physical activity policy and the anti-doping policy after a wide public consultation and they want it to implement this by mid- year.

“The child protection and safety policy is being drafted hence it is important for everyone in­volved in sports to have an understanding of these policies especially on what you can or can’t do.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj



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