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- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) has given its full support to the creation of the country’s first-ever National Olympians Association.
The Fijian Olympians Association (FOA) was launched by World Olympians Association (WOA) Executive Board member and five-time Olympic swimmer Carl Probert to coincide with the Fijian Olympic Day celebrations in Suva.
It is due to be formally inaugurated in the coming weeks.
Probert, one of Fiji’s most decorated athletes, will take on the role of FOA President.
Fellow Olympic swimmer Angela Birch, who competed at Seoul 1988, will be FOA secretary.
Joining as a Committee member will be Tony Moore, an Olympic long jumper ad who competed for Fiji at Montreal 1976.
Moore is also an inductee of the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame, where the FOA plans to host its Annual General Meeting.
The FOA will also aim for representation at regional meetings, such as the Pacific Games, in a bid to encourage new members to join, promote the values of the FOA and provide support to the FASANOC.
Participation at future Olympic Day events in Fiji for locally-based Olympians will also be a priority, it is claimed.
"Olympians in Fiji are very much a part of the fabric of our society, which puts a high value on sport," Probert said,
"You only need to look to our men’s rugby sevens team, who won our country’s first gold medal at Rio 2016, to see the reverence placed on our sporting heroes.
"This means there is a fantastic opportunity for Olympians in Fiji to make a real and substantial difference across a range of community actions like promoting the importance of healthy and active lifestyles, social inclusion and development.
"We have designed the Fijian Olympians Association so that it aligns closely with our country’s National Olympic Committee and Athletes' Commission, working in partnership to help support Olympians.
"We see the FOA as becoming an integral part of Fiji’s sporting infrastructure, creating a pathway for Olympians to remain connected with the wider Olympic family, while providing opportunities for them to engage with and give back to their communities."
Plans to establish the FOA were welcomed by Olympians attending the Oceania National Olympic Committee Athletes’ Forum in Fiji in May.
The WOA's remit is to represent the 100,000-plus Olympians living throughout the world.
There are 148 National Olympians Associations in five continents.
They organise events for Olympians and run projects that strive to help their local communities.
SOURCE: INSIDE THE GAMES/PACNEWS
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