Games’ task

First Lady Sarote Konrote, left, converses with young weight-lifter Seruwaia Malani after Team Fiji's itatau and official photo shoot with the President and officials at Borron House in Suva yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

First Lady Sarote Konrote, left, converses with young weight-lifter Seruwaia Malani after Team Fiji's itatau and official photo shoot with the President and officials at Borron House in Suva yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

FIJI President Jioji Konrote yesterday reminded Team Fiji athletes of the importance of representing the nation at next month’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Team Fiji presented its itatau to the head of the State at Borron House in Suva.

“For this year’s games, the big contingent is a reflection of our growth as a nation. We are already on our way to maturity as an independent and sovereign State,” Mr Konrote said.

“We have made an impressive turnaround with our economy. We have taken on leadership positions in the international community. I am very happy to note that the composition of the team has grown as well. There are 49 females and 47 males that make up Team Fiji.

“Special congratulations to all the representatives, and to all women and girls in general.”

He said Team Fiji had the support of every Fijian in the country and abroad.

“The country is committed to harnessing the natural talent of our sportspeople like you, and enhancing your skills, knowledge, and competitive edge. As a nation, we are trying to leave behind a lasting legacy for our future generations. As members of our national team, you are actually part of the legacy of our maturity as a nation.

“Including this year’s games, Fiji would have competed in 16 Commonwealth Games. We have won 14 medals — including three gold, four silver and seven bronze — across six sports since our first win in 1950.

“I have every confidence that you could emulate or even outdo the achievements of the past games and set a standard that you and the nation will be proud of.”

Team Fiji chef de mission Patrick Bower said the athletes were well prepared.

“The team is all ready to go to the Commonwealth Games,” Bower said.

“We have prepared them mentally and physically. We also had two workshops to prepare them mentally for the competitions.

“The training schedules for the athletes are on par with some of the sport getting competitions abroad and their flights are ready and we have distributed their tickets to them.”

Team Fiji departs on March 30.