Monday, August 29, 2011

Fiji, Aussie Rules and also SPG

from w
I've been looking up news on the web about the Opening Day of the South Pacfic Games in Noumea which is today. The Fiji team there has about 150 athletes and staff. Radio Australia has some photos, and a video on the opening ceremony. The flagbearer is Tulo, a weightlifter. Our family are interested in South Pacific athletics as one of the young men in our family has been a champion thrower. We can't watch the SPG though and we are watching the International Athletics meet in Korea which has three hours of TV a day on SBS2. It's a great way to watch the world champions.

From Fiji Times today: Special treat
Emoni Narawa In Noumea
Monday, August 29, 2011
+ Enlarge this image
Team Fiji members at a church service hosted by the Fijian community. Yesterday was rest day at the Pacific Games. Picture: ATU RASEA in Noumea
TEAM Fiji was hosted to a special BBQ lunch by the Fijian community in Noumea yesterday. The athl├Ętes had their church service at the Noumra Assemblies of God Church before enjoying a lovely luch at the Keondo Beach outside Noumea.

Team Karate, Fiji women's rugby, basketball, volleyball and few sevens rugby players were hosted to a lovely reception on the beachside.

Fijian community secretary Mr Damutoro said it was another way of showing their support to Team Fiji.

'We did this to show our support the team. Despite the fact that we are here for a long time, Fiji is always be in our hearts and we cherish all these athletes that will represent Fiji at this Pacific Games,' he said.

Mr Damutoro who is from Nadroga has spent more than 20 years in New Caledonia. His son Tomu is married and also lives in Noumea. Tomu has two daughters who wore Fiji t-shirts to show their support during the Fiji and Tahiti soccer match on Saturday.


Thursday, August 25, 2011.

The Fiji team participating at this year’s Pacific Games left our shores this morning for the games venue in New Caledonia.

The first lot of 157 athletes and officials flew to New Caledonia this morning via a chartered flight with Air Pacific.

Sports Minister Filipe Bole who was the Chief Guest for the athlete’s farewell to the games gave some encouraging advice and reminded the athletes of the reason they are chosen to participate in the games for their beloved country Fiji.

“I salute you all for braving cold mornings, hot afternoons and difficult circumstances, to push yourselves to perfect that run, that lift, shot or swim.”

“I trust that you will do Fiji proud whether in victory or defeat. True sportsmanship is about expressing what you have been trained in, to the best of your abilities and within the rules of the game,” Bole said.

Air Pacific is the official airline for Team Fiji and Chief Executive Officer Dave Pflieger was on cloud nine while name three of their staff participants to this years games.

“I would also like to note how proud the Air Pacific family is to have three of our own, be a part of Team Fiji at the Pacific Games.”

“James Lenoa, one of our Logistics Officers and something of a household name in karate circles, is part of Team Fiji.”

“Stanley Ooms, a Second Officer on our B747 aircraft, will be giving his all in the paddling competition, and Captain Henry Stephen, one of our B747 Captains is a Team Fiji official for shooting,” added Pflieger.

The second team will be leaving for New Caledonia this Friday while the third and final contingent will leave for the games venue on the 3rd of next month.

The Pacific games will be staged from the 27th of August to the 27th of September.



Meanwhile there's move afoot to get Pacific people more interested in another football code - Aussie Rules and a Fiji team was in town recently for this sport. Here's a news item from Radio Australia about this.

Australian football looks to Pacific

The Australian Football League is hoping for new recruits from the Pacific region. [ABC]
Last Updated: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 14:31:00 +1000

The Australian Football League says it hopes investing in the Pacific Islands will help provide a new generation of elite footballers. The AFL has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Australian government to help develop the code overseas, including in the Pacific. Under the deal, the league will hold at least one exhibition game in the region every year and the government will help the league find sponsors for offshore events.

The AFL's international development manager, Tony Woods, says he sees big potential in the Pacific. "We've been investing in the Pacific for some time," he said. "We're investing in development in the code in PNG, all the way round the Pacific through to New Zealand. It's really exciting for us. For us, it's almost an untapped market in terms of the potential for talent.

"Also there's great participation in the Pacific - we find that kids just love playing our game."

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