Team thanks President

Weightlifter Apolonia Vaivai meets the President at the State House yesterday. Pictures: FASANOC

Team Fiji to the 11th edition of the Pacific Mini Games presented its sevusevu to the President of Fiji, Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere, yesterday upon returning in the weekend from Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.

Before leaving Fiji, Team Fiji had presented its itatau to Ratu Wiliame, who had encouraged the team to return to State House upon their return to report back to him on their performances and experiences in Saipan.

Ratu Wiliame said this was the first time any team from Fiji had returned to State House after representing the country overseas.

“What you have done today will give this office and this Government the confidence in their contribution and now that you have come back is so humbling,” Ratu Wiliame said.

“When you leave here today, you will feel good because you have achieved the first hurdle but there will be many more to come.”

He said Team Fiji had set a precedence that he hoped would be followed by others who came to State House to present their itatau.

Ratu Wiliame congratulated Team Fiji on their performance at the Pacific Mini Games, reminding athletes that it was not only about winning but participating.

“I know you have done well,” he said. “Now you return to your homes and your family, you will have to thank them for the support that they have given you to represent Fiji.”

Ratu Wiliame encouraged the athletes to speak about the experience of representing Fiji with everyone they meet.

“Share the stories of how you came to be selected to represent Fiji but be reminded that you have now set a standard,” he said.

“There are other athletes coming out of school who will also one day hope to represent Fiji.”

Ratu Wiliame encouraged members of Team Fiji to enjoy their success with family. Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of Team Fiji, Triathlon athlete Nikotimasi Tu’enadi Croker thanked the President for his support and words of encouragement for the team.

“We were inspired before we left for the Games and we are thankful when we returned,” he said.

Team Fiji finished in seventh place at the Pacific Mini Games in Saipan with a total of 43 medals.

Fiji bagged nine gold, 17 silver and 17 bronze medals when the Games came to an end last Saturday.

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