By Alipate Pareti
Remember that small white medic vehicle with a stretcher bed that speeds into action every time there’s an injury on-field at the national stadium?
Well, meet Setareki Koro, a 69-year-old man from Bucalevu, Nakorotubu in Ra. He is the man behind the wheel of that medic cart, and his sole responsibility is the safety of athletes.
Koro helps carry the injured off the field, especially when athletes are unable to walk from the pitch.
“It’s now over 12 years that I have been serving for Fiji Sports Council and I’ve spent most of my time working at the Stadium. I have served in all types of sports and games that were held here in Suva, mainly to look after those that get injured in the field.”
This past weekend, Koro was kept busy with the annual Coca Cola Games.
“My services are mostly demanded in athletic meets, especially the Fiji Finals [the Coca Cola Games] because that’s where I see most injuries happen.”
Koro is very passionate about his work, especially when it comes to dealing with school children.
“Sometimes it hurts me to see students not being able to perform well and achieve their athletic dreams because they get injured. It usually gets to me, when I see them like that.”
“And that’s why I go out there and do my best to serve and look after our children because I know that’s why I’m here and I must do my job to the best of my ability.”
Koro says that he’s also noticed a lot of changes in the Coca Cola Games, particularly in the behavior of students.
“I’ve seen many changes. Sometimes children of today don’t take heed of the advice we give them during competitions, especially in the good maintenance of our stadium and grounds. That makes my job a bit challenging and I have discussed that a lot with some of my colleagues.
“And we’ve always reminded each other that we are dealing with school children from all over Fiji with their different backgrounds, so we have to be understanding and yet firm when offering advice and correction towards them.”
“Because ultimately, we love our children and as someone who has run the race of life longer than most people, we know what is best for our children.”
We tend to forget people like Setareki Koro during these type of big events, but it’s these sort of people that make the whole spectacle and wonderful atmosphere of the games complete.