TEAM Fiji captain Leslie Copeland has backed the idea for the Pacific Mini Games to make way for a proposed Pacific youth games.
The national javelin record holder is defending the gold medal he won at the PMG in Cook Islands in 2009.
He said he was confident of retaining gold but the opportunity to compete at these games should be given to younger athletes.
"We have already made a name for ourselves in the regional competition and I think younger athletes should be given the opportunity to compete at the Pacific Mini Games," Copeland said.
"I think the idea to make this event the Pacific Youth Games is very good and they should take it up."
He believes athletes would be able to use the games to make a decision whether to stick to their sport or to give it up.
"It was at the 2009 event that I made a decision to continue with javelin all the way till the Olympic Games because that is the pinnacle of sports competitions.
"I believe the youth games would give younger athletes a venue to compete with athletes of their own age and gauge where to go from there.
"It can be used as a stepping stone to get to higher competition."
Meanwhile, Copeland said he was wary of the Tahitian and New Caledonian for his event.
He said he was throwing good distances but the aim was to retain the title.
"I am looking forward to the competition and would like to see how far I can go this time."
The men's javelin competition will be held on Thursday.