News

You Are Blessed Says VP

2/17/21

Athletes that are part of the larger training squad for rugby sevens are blessed with an opportunity says Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) Vice-President, Iowane Naivalurua.

"Whether you make that final team or not, you are already an inspiration to those around you," he said during a visit to the Fiji Sevens Rugby Men’s training camp.

"Many athletes want to be where you are but you have been chosen to be a part of this squad."

Mr Naivalurua also stressed to the athletes that FASANOC and the Team Fiji administration team would assist in any way possible to ensure that they were in the best possible mindset before Tokyo 2020 in Japan.

"Your task is to make sure that when you are released from here you fight the forward battles and win, our job is to fight the battles in the background," he said.

"Our job is to prepare you physically and mentally with others so you are able to participate at the Olympics in the best possible shape."

M rNaivalurua said "It is at this point that you as athletes should fix your mind and your heart so it is connected and prepared for the task ahead," to take on the great responsibility of being ambassadors for the country.

"Get used to having a heart and mind that is teachable from your coaching team."

Mr Naivalurua said FASANOC throws support behind athletes that are vying to travel to Tokyo for the Olympics but would not interfere.

Mr Naivalurua along with Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Patrick Bower and FASANOC President Makarita Lenoa paid a visit to the team to show their support and encourage the squad members.

Mrs Lenoa spoke to the team about the COVID-19 Rules and Regulations and the Rights and Responsibilities of Athletes and Officials taking part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She shared information from the recently released Tokyo 2020 Playbooks.

National Sevens Men’s Rugby Coach, Gareth Baber thanked Mr Bower and FASANOC members saying they would take what was shared to heart and that they would honour their responsibilities as members of Team Fiji.

Mr Baber also told athletes that the children of Fiji looked up to them as what they would like to be and what they would like to do with their lives.

"You are in a position where you get to do something or participate in something that only a blessed few get to do. ”We have to treat that with respect and understand that it comes with its responsibilities," he said.

Mr Baber said while it was unfair, more scrutiny will be placed on them when they are overseas.

"There are those that will be waiting for you to fall, and it is not fair, but it is a tough responsibility," he said.

"But we will trust in all the systems we put in place around our work behaviours and attitude, how we work together to ensure that we keep each other in line, and when with others from around the world, we will pay them respect," he said.

"Especially in a country like Japan where respect is fundamental in the way they think about life."

Mr Baber said most of his athletes would be going to an Olympic Games for the first time and that FASANOC was integral in ensuring that they as athletes will get to experience something special that most athletes never get to experience.

"It is important to honour our responsibilities as members of Team Fiji and also as members of the Fiji culture and its people," he said.

So far Rugby Sevens Men’s and Women’s Teams along with Sailing have qualified for the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

Other sports that are vying for the opportunity to be a part of Team Fiji includes athletics, archery, karate, judo, swimming and table tennis.

(If this is going with the other story you have used similar last line in both, so suggest take out of one)