By Alipate Pareti
Coming from Vanua Levu, Holy Family Secondary School brings a very small contingent to this year’s Coca Cola Games.
Team Manager, Roslyn Daurewa says, “We brought four athletes over and this is the first time for them to come and compete in the Coke Games, and I believe that is one big challenge in itself.”
“We had two of our athletes in the 100 meters race but they were not familiar with how to use the starting blocks and that was also one of our major challenges.”
Preparations were swift for Holy Family as the teachers raced to get their athletes ‘game ready’ to compete in Suva.
“We had our Inter House in week six of this term and then straight after that we had our Zone meet in week 10, so preparation wise – we had a very short time to prepare after the zone and come for the Coke Games, but we’re very thankful that the school was able to pay for our billeting, travel and other expenses.
Daurewa commended the dedication and commitment of teachers and students in their preparations.
“From the school’s perspective, we had to take out time from our teaching to have our training. So I’m thankful to have three teachers accompany the four athletes.
Parental support has been great.
Parent Salanieta Tuitabua says, “I thank God for his protection, guidance and strength for enabling us to get this far. I’m happy that we have done what we have come here to do. Even though there’s only four of them, that didn’t stop them from trying their best to qualify and compete here in Suva. Win or lose, I think they are happy to be here.
“I’m a parent who supports my children in everything they do, especially in sports. And I always remind my children that sports is also part of education and they must give their best at all times. If you don’t do well in the classroom, then try to do well in sports.”
Daurewa believes that things will be better for their athletes in years to come.
“In moving forward, I’ve kindly requested our Head of Physical Education, Music and Art and Craft (PEMAC) Department to at least have a program for our athletes, also a diet program and other certain key areas where we really need help, like learning to use the starting blocks in order to properly participate.
“It’s been a good experience for them today, even though they did not qualify for the finals or win any medals. I’m thankful that this is a good experience for our squad. This year they are all junior level and hopefully next year they will improve.”