First Things First, Let’s Ride Out Crisis

Even the world superpowers duck for cover as they scramble to find the easiest way to negate the pandemic.
21 Mar 2020 14:22
First Things First, Let’s Ride Out Crisis
From left: Fijian Latui tighthead prop Manasa Saulo and hooker Ratunaisa Navuma during training in Lautoka for the Global Rapid Rapid comp which is now suspended.


Tough times for sports, tough times for the world, we are living in a very uncertain place indeed but that is the reality now.

It’s nothing of our making but the coronavirus is a crisis that has spared no one.

It has brought the world to its knees like never before upending daily life and economic activity.

Even the world superpowers duck for cover as they scramble to find the easiest way to negate the pandemic.

But nations, businesses and people are going to go broke as countries close their borders to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Sports events are not spared and the cancellations, postponements of major tournaments are now a major occurrence as it’s hardly feasible to play on as normal.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama fired a timely reminder on Thursday that all contact sports engagements including going to the gyms, swimming pools and fitness centres ‘should ceased effective immediately” and stressed the importance of ‘social distancing’ in this trying times.

The only way to ride out the crisis is to follow instructions and advice by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

This is the time to do things right and proper first and foremost.

But it should not prevent sporting organisations from planning and reset for the future hoping normalcy resume as soon as possible.

Rugby is our national sport and yesterday the Fiji Rugby Union suspended all local competitions like the Skipper Cup Premiership which should kick-off next week and the second round of the Global Rapid Rugby which should be played today at Albert Park in Suva,

Likewise, the Fiji National Rugby League, Fiji Football Association, Fiji Sports Council and other sporting organisations all heed the PM’s cal.

Again our hopes lie with the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team with defending the gold medal, won four years ago in Rio, at the Tokyo Olympics in July the big picture.

Whether the four-yearly event would eventuate or not, it’s opportune that we start planning for alternatives in bid to prepare our players for the gold defence.

World Rugby are expected to announce next week the London-Paris leg are to join a growing list of postponed tournaments in a move that would severely affect preparations for the Olympic Games event in Tokyo.

We need to search for ways to keep our players active and match fit leading into Tokyo with many planning three and four team ad-hoc events.

Australian 7s coach Tim Walsh is already floating the idea after the Canada Sevens in Vancouver earlier this month.

Obviously, like all sporting organisations, the FRU needs to dig deep with funding being a major obstacle to overcome.

We’ve got some incredibly challenging times and some significant head-winds in front of us but we can work through it provided we are united for the cause.

The only way to fight this crisis is to beat and win it.

We’ve punched above our weight in the past and make the world take notice.

It seems this crisis will be with us for some time and it’s affecting everyone-old and young, rich and poor.

We need to live sensibly in this trying environment and united in the cause to beat the pandemic.

We scored major victories on the sporting field in the past and we can beat this one head on.

First things first, heed the call, you’ve been warned.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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