Rotuman Volleyball Teams to Fiji Games

The Fiji Rotuman Sports Council has decided to take sports to another level despite continuous efforts in past years to involve Rotumans in top level sports competitions. The Council has been in existence a long time. One of the crippling factors for its stagnant progress is financial constraints. The Council is self-funded and relies heavily on funds from affiliation fees and minor fundraising events. However, support from the Fiji Rotuma Council (Itu’hifu) in the form of donations has played a great deal to the continuance of the Rotuma Games. On the other hand, the Council is also grateful to have received sponsorship from John and Ilisapeci Samisoni of The Hot Bread Kitchen (John is the son of Doctor Jimione Samisoni of Malhaha). These donations and sponsorship have enabled the Council to carry out some of its functions and responsibilities efficiently and effectively. While money may be the push factor in the Council’s development and progress, the passion to develop the talents of Rotumans in Fiji and abroad has become one of the main objectives of the Council.

Recently, individuals like Bernadette Ramafono Daurewa and Lisa Faktaufon have dedicated their time and effort to developing young netters in Fiji. This move has prompted the Council to finally take action to boost the morale of our sportspeople. The upcoming Volleyball tourney usually held in the mid-year is the right place to start. This year, the Council has decided to form a men’s and women’s volleyball team to represent Rotuma at national competitions in Fiji including the Fiji Games. These two teams would include a mix of players from the different affiliated clubs at the Rotuma volleyball tournament. The selection criteria are still on the discussion table but the move to form both teams has been welcomed by members of the Council. With netball standards bound to improve, volleyball is just an inch away from achieving that same status. Already a few Rotumans have braced the volleyball arena with their skills. The odds have now become great. The Council’s momentum and belief in this positive step forward will provide the exposure these players need to excel in sports. The responsibility of maintaining that high standard will surely rest on the players. The Council’s obligation thereafter will be to continue its work in promoting and developing the talents of Rotumans at these yearly games.

Moreover, within the Council is a sub committee known as the Secretariat. This includes Council President, Secretary, Treasurer and more recently a Media Liaison Officer. Members of the Council include representatives from the Council’s eight affiliated clubs; Suva – Sarafui, Ra’esea, Satarua; Nadi – Granville; Lautoka – Mairo; Vatukoula – Tieri; Rotuma – Rotuma; New Zealand – Maliha. The Council has a revised Constitution which was passed at the Council meeting on 19 April 2005. The Constitution has become the instrument of policy and decision making in all Council organized games. For transparency and accountability, the Council has decided to publish meeting minutes and financial reports. This is simply to inform overseas Rotumans and the general public of the work of the Council in Rotuman sports development in Fiji. With a calm forum of discussion at the Council’s round table, the signs of togetherness and unity within our sports communities have been stimulating. This year’s volleyball games will take place on 30 - 31 May, hosted by Mairo sports club in Lautoka. The games next month will also be an exciting one as the structure of this year’s games have been modified. Instead of the usual grades A and B for men, women and mixed, there will only be one grade for all. In other words, there will only be one winner for men’s, women’s and mixed grade. An interesting approach by the Council, this new format is bound to attract a lot of fun and no doubt will boost the level of competition.

(Geraldine Panapasa – Media Liaison Officer, FRSC)