The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee's (FASANOC) Medical Commission Chair, Doctor Jone Nasome, is thankful with the efforts of all that assisted with player welfare and medical requirements for Team Fiji to Tokyo 2020 before, during and after the Olympic Games.
"We also would like to thank the Government of Fiji and particularly the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Ministry of Youth and Sports," he said.
"Covid-19 posed a lot of challenges for all of us. It challenged the IOC and the Japanese Organizing Committee in their resolve to host a safe Games and also for Team Fiji to travel to Japan and back in a safe manner” said Dr Nasome
"The IOC COVID-19 Playbooks were a big help in mobilizing our plans for a safe outing for Team Fiji.
"For COVID-19 mitigation we had several meetings with the Incident Management Team led by Dr Ana Maisema, Dr Semiti Vakabua and Dr Sam Fullman for the planning phase with ONOC members in Fiji, including FASANOC President Makarita Lenoa, Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Mar, Team Fiji and the National Federations."
Dr Nasome also expressed his thanks to Dr Racheal Devi and the vaccination teams for assisting Team Fiji with vaccinations in Fiji; and assistance from Eddie Moore from Australia Olympic Committee and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) team for Athletics, Swimming and Rugby Sevens athletes while they were in Australia, immediately prior to flying to Japan.
"Team Fiji was also lucky to have assistance from Dr Josaia Qovu, Dr Unaisi Nayaca and Dr Ilisapeci Gonerara, the Suva Outbreak Response Team and the Team from Suva Command Center with assistance for training, testing, reporting and quarantine while Team Fiji was completing the tasks and requirements for travel.
Dr Rounak Lal also assisted us with the western based athletes and assistance with COVID safe travel protocols," Dr Nasome said.
He said prior to leaving, Team Fiji management, coaches and players work shopped Tokyo 2020 Playbook requirements. This translated to Team Fiji travelling to their Pre-Games Training Camp in Oita, then to the Games Village and then returning home without a single positive case. "The travelling delegation had to appoint a Covid Liaison Officer (CLO) to be the point of contact for all COVID related matters for the team.
Team Fiji General Manager, Wayne O’Connor took up the CLO’s responsibility and was assisted by Ritesh Ratiram and Jane Niubalavu.
The CLO team undertook a big responsibility in implementing the Covid-19 countermeasures for Team Fiji” Dr Nasome said.
"The greater Team Fiji included:
Krishneel Maharaj - Team Fiji Sports Psychologist, Fatefehi Daunivuka – Doping Control Program Manager, Anti-Doping organizations (ORADO and NADO), Talemo Waqa and team from Oceania Sports Education Programme (OSEP). The team worked alongside each other to tackle the medical issues for not only COVID–19 but also trainings in upskilling the travelling team medics and anti-doping training for both athletes, officials and medical team members" he said.
We also were aided by FASANOC Vice President Cathy Wong, past Medical Commission President Dr. Eddie McCaig, Sharlene Nand, Ministry of Health Officials in Suva and Nadi and clinical specialist doctors and nurses.
Team Fiji’s travelling medical team consisted of Dr Nasome and Physio Sarote Nakaora, plus Fiji Rugby support team of William Koong, Sakiusa Naika and Jennifer Khalik Wainiqolo as physiotherapists.
"Having worked together before at previous Games, we built upon the existing relationships and ensured that the team was safe COVID wise but also in medical requirements as we had several other medical issues such as injuries, dental, concussions etc " he said
Dr Nasome also thanked the Oita prefecture medical teams during Team Fiji's pre-games training camp and at the Tokyo Games Village where they were helped by the ONOC shared medical services team led by Dr Luis Cruz from Guam and Dr Lawrence Puni from Cook Islands plus the Games Village Polyclinic which was well equipped with specialists and diagnostic testing equipment.
“Medically, this was a very different Games but we had prepared well and are better prepared to now travel as a team in this new norm of Games participation”, he said.
Although it is now over six weeks since Team Fiji’s return from Tokyo 2020, FASANOC is highlighting this story to not only provide some background on Team Fiji’s COVID-19 mitigation but also to demonstrate the team work across a spectrum of stakeholders that ensured that the interest and welfare of Team Fiji was always kept in the forefront.
FASANOC expresses its deepest gratitude to all the stakeholders who were involved in this mission.