Collaboration Between Coaches Is Important

Fiji Weightlifting is willing to collaborate with other coaches in identifying talented athletes that have the potential to represent Fiji in any sport says National Weightlifting Coach Henry Elder

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May 24, 2023

Fiji Weightlifting is willing to collaborate with other coaches in identifying talented athletes that have the potential to represent Fiji in any sport.

Team Fiji national coach Henry Elder said they were fortunate to have had athletes from other sports being recommended to them from other coaches who  have gone on to win medals in weightlifting.

"We were fortunate to have had athletics coach Antonio Raboiliku recommend a few athletes that we have taken up and they have gone on to represent the country," said Henry.

"In 2019, we had a young sprinter from Adi Cakobau School who won a medal during the Oceania Weightlifting Championship in Samoa."

"We also had a rugby athlete who took up the sport and just recently won the Young Male Athlete award during the 2023 Fiji Sports Awards," he said.

Henry said it was important for coaches to have a good coaching eye that could identify talent to be used in other sports.

"As long as the coach understands the mechanics and attributes of another sport and how the athlete will best contribute to that sport, we as coaches should recommend these athletes to these sports," he said.

Henry said if they saw athletes in weightlifting who had the potential to participate in other sports like athletics, rugby or powerlifting, they would recommend these athletes to other coaches.

Fiji Weightlifting last weekend completed its second national trials for athletes hoping to represent the country to the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in India in July, the Oceania Weightlifting Under 23, Junior and Youth Championships in Samoa in October and the Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands in November.

Henry said he was pleased with the turnout especially from young athletes from Serua, Levuka and from Suva who turned up for the trials.

"We had two athletes that recently participated at the Coke Games and both athletes have been very impressive," he said.

Henry said they also find it important to engage parents and guardians when dealing with young athletes as the support system contributes significantly to an athlete's performance.

Henry said he was pleased with how athletes reacted to each other during the trials and how encouraging they were to new athletes taking up the sport.

"This is a challenging sport and we don't have large crowds turn up like in more popular sports so the athletes rely on each other to motivate and push each other to be better athletes," he said.

Henry said having the right attitude was important for his athletes and he was hopeful that the senior lifters would continue to push new athletes to get better and fight for a spot on Team Fiji.

Athletes like 2022 Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist and International Olympic Committee Olympic Scholarship for Athletes “Paris 2024” recipient Taniela Rainibogi, Apakuki Tabuwaiwai, Eroni Talemaigau, Daniel Shaw, Zion Tokona and Leyna May Domonatani looked impressive during the trials.

Henry said they will be looking to take seven to ten athletes to the sports first challenge this year, the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in India in July.

"We expect challenges as part of the preparations with  one being  funding the team to travel overseas, given that we have three overseas competitions this year but we will face these challenges and plan accordingly, " he said.

Team Fiji Weightlifting will hope to put the disappointment of 2019 Samoa Pacific Games behind them and is positive of a much better result from the athletes at the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

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