Editorial comment – Where to from here

The athletes of Adi Cakobau School celebrate after defending their title as the overall girls champions at the 2019 Coca Cola Games at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Congratulations are in order for the giants of Fiji secondary schools athletics.

Ratu Kadavulevu School and Adi Cakobau School yesterday kept the powerbase of high schools athletics firmly in the Central Division.

RKS, once a dominant force in high school athletics came back with a bang last year.

They had come so close the previous year, in 2017, until that 4x400m relay clinched victory for Natabua High School.

Perhaps what will probably come to the fore now is the manner in which RKS and ACS lived their dreams this week.

Schools in the Central Division have the resources that should stand them in good stead at this level of competition.

We are talking about progressive development and nurturing support bases.

There is a need for commitment and the desire to do well.

There is a need to work hard to live a dream no matter how big the obstacles are.

Undoubtedly, not every athlete who makes it to the games will win a gold medal.

However, there must be a sense of accomplishment, of having made it there.

The months of training, sweat, tears, and yearning for a taste of action on the big stage are savoured to the brim. They make the Fiji Finals special.

This is why it is critically important that organisers are on top of their game.

The athletes have put in the hard yards.

They have made huge sacrifices.

Schools have committed themselves to bringing their best athletes over for what is arguably the most popular sporting event in the country.

There is an expectation that organisers will play their part to the highest standards.

Heavy media coverage in the newspapers, radio, television and on the internet have made this event a much anticipated one annually.

Every participant is under scrutiny. It does place great pressure on their young shoulders.

There is a niggling thought though. Every year we unveil the cream of the crop so to speak.

Yet every year, when we look back at this event, hundreds of our top athletes have disappeared.

The big question now is, where to from here? Where have all our giants of the Fiji Finals of yesteryears gone to?

How do we nurture the next crop of stars to be motivated to remain in athletics after the Fiji Finals?

Do we have a transition plan that could be the starting block for a youngster to emulate the feats of superstar Usain Bolt for instance?

That’s for the powers that be to ponder on.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge the organisers, supporters, old scholars, schools and the athletes for their part in making the 2019 Fiji Finals an exciting three-day event.

For those that did not win a medal, we hope the experience was memorable and lived up to expectations, and would be the stepping stone to greater things in the future.

We congratulate medal winners.

Congratulations are also in order for RKS and ACS, our 2019 Fiji Finals champions.

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