The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee's (FASANOC’s) Voices of the Athletes (VOA) Champions joined the Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC) and the Fiji Police Force in a week long community outreach programme held in the Western Division.
The group focused mainly on the overarching message of “Be a Leader” - a component of their advocacy programme.
Seven VOA Champions that included Olympians Vaciseva Tavaga (Athletics) and Viniana Riwai (Rugby), VOA Coordinator Matelita Vuakoso (Football), Joana Lesi (Cricket), Naomi Waqanidrola (Football), Tailah Ah Yuk (Hockey) and Tessa Marie Harman (Hockey) covered a wide range of topics in selected communities between Nadi and Vatukoula.
Vatukoula Netball Association President, Marieta Futufiri said it was encouraging to hear the messages by the young presenters.
"The presenters were full of confidence and despite their young age managed to get their message across," she said.
"I hope our youth can learn from their interaction with the VOA and have a positive impact on the community.
"It was made clear to the youth that positivity exists in sports and that they can also be a part of it too."
Narau Netball Club coach, Taniela Tamailebo said they were appreciative of the visit from the VOA.
"The programme was enlightening and very interesting," he said.
"It was also an eye opener for us because we were made aware of new things like Drug Free Sports which was part of the outreach."
VOA Coordinator, Matelita Vuakoso said they were thankful to the Fiji Police Force and the FNSC for arranging the opportunity to meet with the members of the different communities.
She said the messages delivered were on Play True which talks about awareness on drugs in sports, Stay Healthy - awareness and prevention of Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Go Green - minimizing the use of single-use plastics and the overall message of Be A Leader.
"We concentrated a lot on “Be a Leader” and making the right choices, which we felt was key for the youth in the community to understand the importance of being good leaders and positive role models," she said.
The VOA Programme had ceased all its outreach programmes earlier this year to comply with Government restrictions and regulations during the COVID-19 lockdown.
VOA Coordinator, Jeegar Bhavsar said with the easing of restrictions, the programme would continue to advocate its messages within communities, schools and sporting events.
The VOA Program acknowledges the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Olympic Solidarity, Fiji National Sports Commission, Fiji Police and VOA Champions for their continued support.
The VOA Programme is part of the Athletes and Communities Engagement (ACE) Programme, which serves FASANOC's vision to "Inspire the People of Fiji through sporting excellence" and through its purpose which is to encourage, engage and empower athlete leaders and communities in Fiji.