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FASANOC 60th Anniversary Workshop

February 6, 2010       Holiday Inn, Suva

I am indeed very happy to have been given the unique opportunity to be here this morning to speak to you all – the representatives and playmakers of Team Fiji.

Team Fiji is one of the best reflections of Fiji as a nation, for Team Fiji, after all, is made up of individuals  from all walks of life, but which is united, as a family, through the common interest of sport – an interest that the whole nation shares.

Team Fiji embodies the key elements of our society – such as diversity, friendship, passion, level playing field, fair play, graciousness – to name but a few.

As a nation, we are searching for our true potential. That is a noble endeavour.  The same is true of Team Fiji as it seeks to develop the country’s natural talents to their maximum potential.

The two are not unrelated.  As a sports loving nation, people of all athletic ability look up to their sporting heroes, who are leaders and role models in the community.

Team Fiji, which encompasses all these role models, therefore, has a large part to play, and must play, in the uniting and the building of our nation to its true potential.

The development of our nation as one people is no easy task.

It is a task that requires extraordinary and herculean teamwork, and the sharing, by all, of the hope and the responsibility.  It is not left to just one person to achieve this for us – it depends on our collective effort and will. 

We – that is all of us - must work together, and equally share the load, and eventually to taste the success.

Team Fiji inspires us all, and by working together has the capability to set the lead. 

The fact that you all doing this as volunteers is a fantastic claim for the country, and proof of the passion you all share and that is to achieve your goals and succeed.  I personally thank you all for your commitment to sports and to our country.

You, Team Fiji, are doing an outstanding job with the various programmes of investing in the champions of today and tomorrow.  This is a very worthwhile cause and worthy of investment from government, the corporate sector and the people of Fiji.

The character programme is just one example of such an investment, recognizing and understanding that champions need a sound base on and off the field of play to reach their top potential, and working closely with them to achieve this.

It is through initiatives such as these, which go that extra mile, and the taking on of such off the field responsibilities, that will not only ensure that Team Fiji continues to enjoy a “winning culture” but also and more importantly that the whole nation benefits from these initiatives.

Sports as a product, is not only much loved by Fiji – it has the distinct benefit of being well organized, with clear long term international commitments.

You have before you a list of known factors – Youth Olympic Games, New Caledonia 2011, London 2012; all the way To Rio 2016. 

In meeting here today to prepare for these events, you are showing a willingness and the ability to prepare yourselves, and our champions for the future. This will have great benefits to Fiji in the long term.

In the short term, I urge you all to work together with the common goal of achieving Fiji’s true potential on and off the field. Let us all share the load and the responsibility, and establish Team Fiji’s winning culture on the international stage.

I wish you the best for your workshop today.  Work together; do not be afraid to think outside the box.  That is the challenge I put to you.  But ensure that you lay the firm foundations for the future of Team Fiji.