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Rotuman Sports

From Fiji Times Online (31 January 2012)

Work on ability, forget disability

by Emoni Narawa

Fred Fatiaki
Paralympics squad members Iokopa Tapranipou, front, and Tomasi Mawi Junior, far right, watch coach Fred Fatiaki demonstrate some throwing techniques during training at Buckhurst Park yesterday. Picture: Jonacani Lalakobau

LOOK at your abilities and not your disabilities.

That is the verdict of Paralympics coach Fred Fatiaki who was named as the Fiji Coach of the Year in Friday night's Fiji Sports Awards.

Fatiaki says he was shaking and nervous while standing infront of the crowd with his fellow nominees patiently waiting for the winner to be announced.

"It was a very hard time for me, I was shaking and at the same time nervous especially when standing in front of people was not my way."

"But when I heard my name announced as the winner, I was overwhelmed and happy. I believe nothing is sweeter than to be recognised for your hard work," Fatiaki said.

The Rotuma lad said his nervousness and the dream to win such a big award began running into his nerves and veins when he was informed that he was one of nominees for the coach's category.

"To be honest, I knew that I was a nominee last week. I started thinking about winning the award but then I realised that it will be tough competition against the other coaches. So I decided to go out there, enjoy myself, meet other sports people and have fun. But little did I know that I was going to win the coach of the year award. I am happy about being picked among the other wonderful coaches who were my fellow nominees," Fatiaki said.

"I congratulate them and I believe winning this award will help me to strive for the best in the future and keep on sharing my knowledge of the sport with the athletes."

Fatiaki believed that if it was not for his athletes, he would not have been recognised as the best coach.

"I want to dedicate the award to my athletes because if it was not for them I would not have won this award. Also my family for their support, I want to take this time to thank them too," Fatiaki added.