PACIFIC Games weightlifting gold medallist Paula Peniasi Taqua has been awarded a scholarship to study in the United States.
Taqua, a schoolteacher by profession, will attend the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program at the University of Delaware in Colorado for five weeks.
The course is sponsored by the US Olympic Committee.
Taqua started his weightlifting career in 2002 and has been a regular national rep at Pacific and Oceania championships.
In a statement released on Friday, Weightlifting Fiji general secretary Lilian Amasa says Taqua can continue the course next April if he is successful with the five weeks course.
Taqua is also the coach of the Levuka weightlifting team. He won a gold medal, one silver and one bronze in the 77 kilogram men's category in Noumea last year. "Taqua has been working with the youth in Levuka and has played a pivotal role in the development of young lifters. The five-week course is sponsored by US Olympic Committee and if successful, Paula will go to Switzerland, in April for one week to finish off the course," Amasa said.
"This is a great opportunity for Paula, as a first step towards getting formal coaching accreditation."
Weightlifting Fiji thanked the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) and USOC for the opportunity to further develop the sport. Taqua left for the US on Saturday.