SPORTS

Fiji 7s Coach Gareth Baber’s Contract Extended

Fiji Rugby Union confirms talks on extending the coach’s contract. Players, officials to undergo mental preparations to overcome COVID-19 pandemic impact
03 Jul 2020 16:22
Fiji 7s Coach Gareth Baber’s Contract Extended
From left: Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Barber guides Terio Tamani and Nasoni Tulavu during the team’s gym session at the High Performance Unit in Suva on June 26, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

 

The Fiji Rugby Union has started discussions on extending Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber’s contract.

Baber’s current contract, where he was to coach the Fijian 7s team to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, was to expire on December 31.

But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympic Games was moved to July 23-August 8, next year.

“We’ve spoken to Baber about extending his contract and we are now finalising it,” said Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’ Connor yesterday.

The Welshman has agreed to the extension and could soon be signing the new contract.

O’Connor said with the 2019/20 World Sevens Series remaining tournaments cancelled by World Rugby, the national 7s teams would have to work harder in the next series to claim top spot in the

Olympic Games seeding.

Baber has wasted no time in holding talks with the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) concerning the mental preparation of his players and officials.

Speaking to SUNsports Team Fiji chef de mission Patrick Bower confirmed that Baber had shown interests on their sports psychology initiative.

“What happened over the COVID-19 period has affected our athletes,” Bower said.

“In fact, they need to be given encouragement. We need to say, okay this is the problem do we need to sit and complain about the problem or do we move ahead and also how do we move ahead.”

Bower highlighted that it is about giving our athletes practical steps into what they should be doing during these tough times.

“Not only to brainstorm the players, but also give the athletes practical steps to take them up and challenging them to move ahead to the next step.

“It is an excellent session where we stand beside the players and encourage and motivate them,” he said.

Bower said the 7s teams have not participated in the programme, but they were interested in participating.

“This is because they were working with a sports psychologists from Australia, but he is still there due to the pandemic,” he said.

“Gareth is going to have a good talk with Krishneel (Maharaj) and it sounds positive.

“Baber is very well versed with the subject of what’s needed and what he wants to take in regards to the physiology session.

“Baber said it’s going to be something they will be using going forward.”

Bower said swimming, karate, judo and archery athletes are going to participate as well.

“We have organised the Sports Physiologists session and we are working with, Krishneel Maharaj,” he said.

“He did a session with all the officials last Friday night so that’s the beginning of the session.“

“We are looking to have it with members of the sevens team and its staff,” he added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper