YOUTHS in the village of Vuniwai, Saqani in Cakaudrove used to wait for the turn of the low tide to play sports at the stretch of the sand dunes before their village in the past.
Things have changed as the Ministry of Youth and Sports handed the youths the new $50,000 Manulevu Park on Friday.
Speaking at the handing over celebrations at Vuniwai, Ministry of Youth and Sport permanent secretary Josefa Sania said government had set its focus on the development of youths in rural areas.
"Through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, government aims to develop the lifestyle, financial status and talents of youths in Fiji through programs as such and other training awareness programs," Mr Sania said.
"Not all students in the country can have white collar jobs nor find proper working opportunities, therefore the ministry is tapping into the talents of youths to develop them and ensure that those with sporting, singing and other talents are recognised and their talents contribute to their own developments," he said.
"We always encourage youths to take ownership of this sort of projects and use them wisely for their development," he said.
Mr Sania encouraged the youths of Saqani to maintain and properly manage their new ground saying that they had had cases where sports grounds handed to rural youths around the country lay dormant and overgrown with bushes.
Vuniwai youth club president Inoke Rokovere said the kind gesture from the ministry meant a lot to villagers and their youths.