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Fiji Time: 6:29 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Paralympics coach recruits for 2015 games

Arin Kumar
Monday, December 23, 2013

NATIONAL Paralympics coach Fred Fatiaki hopes to recruit around 20 disabled athletes to prepare for the 2015 Pacific Games.

He is planning to visit Special Schools early next year in a bid to identify athletes who are eligible for international competition.

With Iliesa Delana winning the country's and region's first gold medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games, Fatiaki is confident there are other disabled athletes in the country who want to make a name for themselves.

He said this year's Fiji Paralympics Games was on a small scale and hosted by the different special schools and did not give him a good scope of the potential athletes.

"Right now I have less than 10 athletes who are training with me of which six are training full time," Fatiaki said.

"I would like to have around 20 athletes training with me by the end of next year for the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea and other international competitions. The overall target is getting a few athletes into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and there are different qualifiers for the different categories so the more athletes we have the better it will be."

He said the hardest part of the talent identification process would be going to all the special schools in Fiji. Fatiaki took three athletes to the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna in September from where they returned with one silver and one bronze medal.