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Fiji footy gets the ball rolling

  • Wednesday, August 11 2004 @ 08:47 am ACST
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Oceania Australian football in Fiji started with the building of a solid administrative framework, but not much actual footy. Recently, a change of direction has been promised.

Fiji is one of those South Pacifc nations with an abundance of talented athletes, which is close to Australia and a prime candidate for the introduction of Australian Rules football. Until recently, this had not occurred. However, plans have been underway this year, with committees formed and people in high places backing the project. These people include the Police Commissioner and the Speaker of the (Parliament) House. Sponsors such as Tokoriki Island Resort and ANZ Bank Fiji have also joined with the Fiji Australian Football Association.

Nevertheless, there had not been any football played, other than some initial kick arounds, and some onlookers may have thought it was not going to happen. At a Steering Committee meeting on July 19th, it was decided to get some games underway, whilst still looking after the structure. This very positive move follows the method used in Tonga. A driving force behind the game there, Mark Korsten, visited Fiji a few months ago, so this may have given the committee valuable insight.

The first games are scheduled for September 5th. Check out the FAFA website for more details. Hopefully the game will grow from there - Fiji is vital to future plans for fooball in the South Pacific region (more on that later).