Onus On Sports Bodies, Athletes To Raise Performance To Next Level

Sporting federations should continue with the development work they have been doing with young competitors.
14 Jul 2019 14:47


The 2019 Pacific Games enters its final week today.

Although we’re behind on the medal tally, that doesn’t reflect on the performances of our athletes during the first week of the Games.

What we’ve seen so far has been encouraging.

The investments made on the development of our sport people and the rural/ maritime outreach programme by the Fiji National Sports Commission volunteers along with the Ministry of Youth and Sports are starting to show.

Our young swimmers of Taichi Vakasama, Matelita Buadromo, Moana Wind, Netani Ross, Epeli Rabua, Yolan Blake, Rosemarie Rova, Cheyenne Rova and Jeremiah Faktaufon took the pool by storm and have won six gold medals along with a handful of silver and bronze medals.

They are posed to be a threat to New Caledonia, who has been dominating swimming, come the 2023 Pacific Games

For archery, it was Robert Elder and couple Frederick and Lisa Leota who won a gold medal each to do their country proud.

Then in badminton, the sister partnership of Andra Whiteside and Karen Gibson, managed o squeeze their way past New Caledonia and Tahiti to win the gold medal on a count back.

In table tennis, Sally Yee expressed her disappointment in missing out on the gold medal in the women’s team event after taking a much experienced Vanuatu side to the wire.

Although our weightlifters failed to win a medal their young team which included two 14-year-olds have managed to give their best.

What the final outcome will be (at the end of the final week) should be the least of our worries.

It’s time for us to focus ahead.

Sporting federations should continue with the development work they have been doing with these young athletes.

They must also ensure that they compete regularly at home and also internationally for exposure.

Expertise in technical coaching should also be considered, especially when they need to lift their game to the next level.

Sports bodies should also look at the foundations of their sport. In some once thriving school and club competitions have been neglected.

Sporting federations must work closely with Peter Mazey and the Fiji National Sports Commission.

If this is done, it should augur well for Team Fiji not only for the next Pacific Games but for the Commonwealth Games and Olympics as well.

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