The ONOC General Assembly will be staged at the Grand Pacific Hotel © Tucoxn/Wikipedia

Fiji hosted a series of Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) workshops and meetings ahead of the regional sporting governing body’s General Assembly.

Delegates from the 17 ONOC member nations are convening in the country’s capital Suva, where the events are taking place to help prepare the region for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and this year’s Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in July.

A Chef de Missions and administrators meeting has already taken place with International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Rio 2016 representatives, including IOC National Olympic Committee relations official Toshio Tsurunaga.  

"We started with a very involved two-day programme,” ONOC executive director Dennis Miller said.

"This morning we were talking about the general sports programme, issues relating to the nationality of sports which is perhaps not a big issue here, the accreditation process for athletes and team officials, medical people, the heads of states and the Government people who will be going into the Games.

"We talked a lot about the medical side of things, especially doping control and testing of athletes in competition and out of competition, we also talked about issues of athletes’ images.

"It is relevant in Fiji, say the Fiji [rugby] sevens team who maybe going to Rio and have a big sponsor here, it's not the Olympics sponsor so we talked about how that can be handled."

Barbara Kendall staged the Regional Athletes Forum at Leleuvia Island Resort
Barbara Kendall staged the Regional Athletes Forum at Leleuvia Island Resort ©Voices of the Athletes/Facebook

Team Fiji Chef de Mission Cathy Wong added: "It teaches us about management system, its structure, operational systems that you put in place to prepare your team, so come on the day there is no hiccups about missing luggage and other hassles, athletes passport missing, so it is teaching us a lot about how to prepare your team financially."

Meanwhile, ONOC Athletes’ Commission chair Barbara Kendall, a New Zealand Olympic sailing gold medallist, held the Regional Athletes Forum at Leleuvia Island Resort for athletes from the region to give them skills they can use when they return home or travel to competitions.

"Hopefully, when they go to the Pacific Games in July they use whatever skills they have gained from this forum to help develop sport further," she explained.

Among the events still to come are the ONOC Medical Commission meeting and presentations on the Port Vila 2017 Pacific Mini Games and the Nuku'alofa 2019 Pacific Games, before the ONOC General Assembly, which will be attended by IOC President Thomas Bach, takes place on Saturday (May 2) at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

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