French Ambassador Leads Global Race

As part of its journey to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France, led by French Ambassador in Fiji, François-Xavier Léger together with support from ONOC and FASANOC, organized the “Terre De Juex 2024” Fiji leg Relay last week.

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March 15, 2024

As part of its journey to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France, the French Embassy led by French Ambassador in Fiji, François-Xavier Léger together with support from Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) and the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) organized the “Terre De Juex 2024” Fiji leg Relay last week (14.3.24).

The “Terre De Juex 2024” Relay is to promote the Olympic Games for the whole of France by allowing all territories, actors of the sport movement and embassies to be actors of the Games.

This year’s theme for the global Paralympics race: Promoting Women and Unity in Sports.

Also joining the 24-hour world relay were close to 200 participants from the community of individuals with disabilities, Diplomatic Corps and Special Schools.

“With Fiji being the second country to host the relay again this year out of the 146 participating French Embassies around the world, French Ambassador to Fiji, His Excellency François-Xavier Léger highlighted the importance of the theme this year: Global Paralympics Race: Women & Unity in Sports.

“Women play an integral role in our societies and it is imperative that they be given the equal opportunities like man to excel and participate in sports," Mr Léger said.

"It is seen that often women are marginalised when it comes to sports participation in the disability sector and this should not be the case anymore."

Mr Leger said there was a need to create awareness and advocate for this so that women are able to participate without fear and judgement.

"Fiji has produced women female para- athletes such as Mere Roden that broke barriers and propelled her to excel in the sport of table tennis. There are upcoming women para-athletes that are following her footsteps and I have no doubt that they will make Fiji proud in years to come. This year’s race hoped to promote parity and inclusion in sports, highlighting women and para-athletes and the need to promote gender equality and inclusion,” Mr. Léger said.

The Ambassador added that France had always taken a positive step when it came to inclusivity for its athletes and their participation and highlighted that the Paris 2024 Games will be the first gender equal Olympic Games in history setting a precedence for other games to come in the future.

He thanked FASANOC Chief Executive Vanessa Kilner and her team for their timely assistance in providing logistical support for the race and ONOC President, Dr Robin Mitchell, Sport Matters Chief Executive Jackie Lauff, President for Fiji Paralympic Committee, Shaenaz Voss and Disaster Risk Reduction Pacific Disability Forum Regional Coordinator Ruci Senikula for their contributions towards the race.

For 24 hours, each embassy and overseas territory will organize a one-hour race on a dedicated route from 9am to 10am (local time). Once they have completed their race, each of them will pass the baton to the entities located in the next time zone who will carry out their race and so on for 24 hours. The hand over will be organized through social media.

Fiji will be the first country to start off the Relay at 9am by organizing a physical activity which involves athletes, sports personalities, French Embassy staff and French Companies operating in Fiji and then hand over to the next country at 10am.

FASANOC CEO Vanessa Kilner said this is a great way to focus on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

"We all know what sports has done for Fiji for unity and social integration and we look forward to Team Fiji’s Road to Paris and we thank the French Embassy for this collaboration."

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