Officials from 15 sports in Fiji attended a training seminar run by FASANOC to help prepare them for the 2023 Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands ©FASANOC

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee’s (FASANOC) High Performance Commission (HPC) chairman Talemo Waqa has called for cooperation between the country's sports leaders to ensures athletes experience a professional environment as they prepare for the 2023 Pacific Island Games and 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The Fijian Rugby Union has offered resources to some of the country's other national governing bodies, perhaps hoping some of its magic may rub off on other sports following the success of its men's rugby sevens team who won the Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. 

Strength and conditioning coach Nacanieli Cawanibuka from Super rugby franchise Fijian Drua has been amongst those offering to help with the programme.

Rugby is Fiji's most successful Olympic sport, having won the sevens gold medal at both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Rugby is Fiji's most successful Olympic sport, having won the sevens gold medal at both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

"From FASANOC’s high performance perspective, we have found and encouraged areas of  attachment and opportunities especially for high performance," Waqa said.

"Nacanieli is part of a professional franchise, which is the first of its kind in Fiji, so it is an opportunity for all sports to take up that chance to learn something new that can benefit their athletes.

 "Nacanieli has also been happy to take on one of two coaches a week as long as he is given ample time to prepare."

Waqa made the offer during a team managers course as part of the Oceania Education programme, obligatory for those hoping to work for the Fiji team at next year's Pacific Games, due to be held in the Solomon Islands between November 19 and December 2 next year.

A total of 27 representatives from 15 sports attended the course, funded by the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity Programme and the Oceania National Olympic Committees.

"It is good to have a course like this which will give us the right tools and guidelines to prepare a team and make Team Fiji’s job a bit easier," Fiji Archery Association secretary general Carol Sella said.

"We are fortunate that we are a small team, but I can imagine what the larger teams have to go through."

Bodybuilding, due to return to the Pacific Games programme for the first time since Port Moresby 2015, is another Fijian sport hoping to make an impression in the Solomon Islands.

"For our sport, we are in the process of rebuilding and hopefully we can match the intensity it takes to prepare a team to participate at the Pacific Games with our passion to see this sport grow," Fiji Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation interim secretary Anuantaeka Takinana said.