Help for Fiji: Australian clinics promise recognised qualification

Some participants of the training course for sports officials in Suva for netball, touch football, AFL and rugby league. Picture: AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE SPORTS

Fijians now have a chance to get one of the best qualifications in sports that can gain world recognition.

Thanks to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Sports Cell, a group of Australian sports officials are conducting capacity building training and coaching clinics at Albert Park in Suva to selected sports organisations.

As Fijians leave in droves for greener pastures abroad for work or to earn for those back home such as the seasonal work programs, the visit by the ADF Sports Cell is sports’ gate to overseas opportunities.

Brigadier Phil Winter, the director general of ADF Sport Cell, said the visit was part of the long-term relationship and capacity building between the ADF and its Fijian counterpart.

“It’s a long rich history between the Australian and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, especially when we have floods on Australia and you came to help. Today we are doing sports which is a new pitch of how we can work together because there are some fantastic talents here in Fiji,” Winter said.

The ADF program started in Suva on Monday, delivering level one coaching, umpiring, strength and conditioning, first aid, wellbeing training and gifting ranges of equipment to Fijian sports organisations.

“It is hard to put the monetary value because of the time and skills and the talents which includes some Australian athletes who are the best in the world helping in the program.”

Australian touch football rep Amanda Hollis, who is a leading aircraft woman in the ADF, is part of the group.

She is among the visiting officials who are qualified all-rounders in their sport.

Winter said Fijians could be like her if they followed the program and attained qualification that could be recognised internationally.

“So much of the world now requires you to have certification to have your skills recognised, so we will have a number of certificates given out at the end of the package which will give people level one skills. The qualifications they will get are recognised around the world, so they are important.”

He said Fijians should live healthy to be able to compete well internationally.

“Everyone will be affected by the program because we will develop skills like nutrition, first-aid and well-being in what we call are back-at-house sporting equipment. If you are not eating well and not treating your body well, your sporting performance is going to be restricted. The whole package is a sporting person doing great on and off the field that will be recognised.”

The team returns to Australia on Sunday after a gala day program tomorrow.

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