The annual Fiji Sports Awards event was held last night at Suva’s Vodafone Arena after a lapse of three years.
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka
officiated at the event and said the ocassion was a time to celebrate the achievements of our sports personalities and recognise their dedication and commitment to their chosen sport.
“With the event returning this year, it focuses on Fiji’s sporting industry in acknowledging sport’s most unique, influential and inspirational personalities and is the only national awards dedicated to recognising excellence in Fijian Sports,” Prime Minister Rabuka said.
He added the event was not only a time to honour athletes but also recognise the efforts of those who work so hard behind the scenes.
“Athletes can only be what they work so hard to achieve when hardworking people have contributed to our nation’s sports achievements from community level to the world stage. They deserve recognition.”
Prime Minister Rabuka also took the opportunity to highlight some of the People’s Coalition Government’s assistance and major plans towards the sporting fraternity.
“Through sports, the government will continue to address issues such as gender disparity, disability, youth empowerment and social inclusion,” he said.
“The People’s Coalition Government will continue to invest in sports through modernising and building more state-of-the-art sporting facilities. There is huge potential to harness our sporting prowess and transform sports into a major income generating industry.
“Government will invest in the development of our elite athletes and also boost our level of participation in sports and physical activities supported by technical specialists.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports will review existing sporting infrastructure with key stakeholders prior to recommending to Cabinet key investment priority areas to ensure we offer excellent facilities that would attract more international sporting events.”
Hon. Rabuka, at the same time, challenged our sports personalities to train smart and represent our nation with pride and dignity on the world stage.
“When you qualify to participate, not only do you showcase your athletic abilities but you also promote our multicultural society and our commitment to creating equal opportunities for all Fijians, regardless of ethnicity or social background.”
The event was jointly organised by the Fiji National Sports Commission, Fiji Sports Council and Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC).
A total of 87 nominations were received from across 11 categories.
Meanwhile, the award winners at the event include;
* Fiji Water Coach of the Year: Gareth Baber (Fiji Rugby Union)
* Sports World Technical Official of the Year: Tevita Rokovereni (Fiji Rugby Union)
* JAD Travel & Hertz Rent A Car Volunteer of the Year: Sera Vugakoto (Basketball Fiji)
* Fiji TV Sports Photograph of the Year: Sophie Ralulu (Fiji Times Ltd)
* ONOC Hanisi Erasito Administrator of the Year: Vela Naucukidi (Fiji Rugby Union)
* Paradise Beverages Sports Organisation of the Year: Fiji Rugby Union
* Asco Motors Team of the Year: Fiji Men’s Rugby Sevens Team
* Tappoo Young Female Athlete of the Year: Robyn Eastgate (Gymnastics Fiji)
* Vodafone Young Male Athlete of the Year: Maciu Tauriwau (Weightlifting Fiji)
* Fiji Tattslotto Sportswoman of the Year: Rusila Nagasau (Fiji Rugby Union)
* Fiji Tattslotto Sportsman of the Year: Jerry Tuwai (Fiji Rugby Union)