Athletes interest and view points are at the heart of the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee's (FASANOC) Athletes Commission said outgoing Chairman Inoke Niubalavu during an Athletes Forum over the weekend.
Inoke said athletes often do not seek their assistance or their guidance which is one of the reasons why the Commission was set up in the first place.
"FASANOC's Athletes Commission serves as a link between athletes and FASANOC and their concerns are our concerns," he said.
"This forum is to reaffirm that link and as well as strengthening the support between FASANOC, the Commission and athletes."
Inoke said it was disappointing to know that some athletes were not aware of FASANOC's Athletes Commission, which was something they would hope to rectify.
"Athletes not knowing about the Commission is partly because we have not been actively engaging National Federations and we hope make our presence known to the NF's and athletes under this new leadership," he said.
Inoke said during the Forum, athletes were also given an opportunity to be a part of the decision making process and to contribute to FASANOC's Strategic plan for the upcoming years.
Two athletes from the 40 National Sporting Federations were invited to be a part of the Forum and to contribute to the Commission's Strategic plan and to clearly define the Commission's roles and responsibilities.
"The responsibilities of the Commission also include empowerment, support, promotion and representation," he said.
"We want to empower Athlete Representation in decision-making processes and support Athlete Development in their sporting and non-sporting careers.
"We also would like to promote Athlete Involvement in decision-making to ensure Athlete representation in decision-making."
The attendees had their first taste of decision making after being presented with samples of Team Fiji's uniform for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan next year.
"It was encouraging to see athletes present have a say in what Team Fiji should look like at the 2020 Olympics, so it was a good start for the new board," Inoke said.
Over the weekend, a 9 member board was elected by athletes to represent their views to FASANOC for a period of four years which includes Tessa-Maree Harman, InokeNiubalavu, Naomi Waqanidrola, JoneBogidrau, Quintyn Stephen, Susan Vocea, Petero Manoa, and Hilda Vukikomoala who was subsequently elected as Chair by her fellow Commission members.
Hilda, who is also part of the Fiji Chess Federation, is the new chairperson for FASANOC's Athletes Commission and leads a Commission that ensures a balance between gender and sports. Also a part of the Commission is Olympian MatelitaBuadromo.
Quintyn, Susan, Petero and Matelita are the newest members of the Commission.