Location: Saqani Village, Cakaudrove. Report by: Joji Liga, Sports Development Manager
The Fiji National Sports Commission successfully facilitated a Sports Outreach Program last week (May 30 – June 3 2016) at Saqani Village, Cakaudrove. Rugby League, Rugby Union, Tennis, Volleyball, Boxing, Soccer and Netball were the seven sports involved in the program.
One hundred participants from twenty (20)villages in the tikinas (districts)of Tawake,Saqani, Navatu, Tawake and Vaturova attended the week long program. Former boxing champion, Pauliasi Ratu represented Amateur Boxing as its Sports Educator on the program, Moape Vu (National U21 Coach) represented Netball, Laisenia Seru represented Volleyball, Lemeki Veimateyaki was the Tennis Officer on the program, Joeli Tubu and Maika Saqanaivalu were the Fiji Rugby Union Representatives while Sikeli Narawa and Nimilote Lesivou represented Fiji National Rugby League. Iosefo Vosoboto delivered the soccer program.
Sports education topics covered during the program include; Training Principles, Fitness Components, Sports Safety and Injury Rehabilitation, Youth Leadership and Empowerment and Competition Administration.
Savenaca Rakabe a participant from Sese Village shared how very fortunate they were to have such a program come to their doorsteps. “It is worthwhile dropping your cane knife for a week to attend such training because it helps in our personal development to become better leaders in the community,” he shared. The three participants who represented Sese at the program are excited about going back to implement what they have learnt from the program. Participating as a rugby coach in the program Savenaca admits how very biased spectators can be towards refereeing yet the referee plays a key role in a game and they need support for the work they do.
Mata ni Tikina (District Rep) Sekaia Vatucicila shared the same sentiments. He added that as a district rep he encouraged all the four districts to attend the training though the Fiji National Sports Commissions had initially targeted two districts. “This is a chance of a lifetime and we need to fully utilize it,” he said. The need to develop sport in all the tikinas (districts) from Udu Point down to Natewa Bay was critical for him in his position as the district representative. He added that already each tikina is targeting to host a rugby sevens competition in each district as a follow up to this training in the coming months.
An interesting addition to this Sports Outreach Program was the engagement of the Ministry of Health through an Aerobics Instructor to train twenty village representatives to be competent in conducting aerobics and physical activity sessions in their villages. They will act as NCD Advocates in their villages. They have a huge responsibility of promoting physical activity in the villagesto combat non-communicable diseases in the community. Further follow up is planned by both the Fiji National Sports Commission and the Ministry of Health to ensure villagers are active in as much as they can through programs designed by these Advocates.
Sunia Cama, the Aerobics Expert engaged by the Ministry of Health had a busy week working strategically with the advocates to acquire the basic skills of Aerobics Instructions. The long term benefits of this initiative are inevitable so stakeholders need to support it in whatever capacity to positively influence the health status of Fijians in our country.
Following the Sports Injury Prevention Presentation, an NCD Team from Labasa conducted free screening for participants and interested individuals. This awareness program was part of the our joint efforts to link connections between sport and physical activity and health.
The village of Saqani was a hype of activities with participants participating and learning the skills of the seven different sports on the one program. Program Facilitator, Saiasi Bose of the Northern Division was a happy man after witnessing a successful program. Some talents were identified by the Sports Officers engaged in the program. These names will be presented to the National Federation for further follow up and development.
Participants were awarded a certificate of participation at the completion of the program. Potential coaches and match officials were also identified as part of the program. These individuals will be considered for sport specific formal accreditation by the National Body through the Trainer the Trainer Program of the Commission. Only pre-selected coaches/officials and administrators will attend the Train the Trainer Program which will also include the delivery of OSEP Coaching and Administration Courses. This is the next level up in our community sports development programs.
The Fiji National Sports Commission acknowledges the assistance of the Cakaudrove Provincial Office, the Turaga ni Koros (village headmen) of the twenty villages and the Youth Administrator for coordinating the program with our Northern Division staff.
Program Facilitator, Saiasi Bose congratulated the Turaga ni Koro and the villagers of Saqani Village for hosting the program successfully during the Closing and Certificate Presentation Ceremony. The representatives of the seven sports were also commended for their outstanding performance at the program.