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Fiji wins award

Arin Kumar
Monday, January 27, 2014

FIJI won two awards during the International Cricket Council (ICC) East Asia-Pacific (EAP) Region 2013 Pepsi Development Programme Annual Awards last week.

Cricket Fiji's development work last year was rewarded when they won the Photo of the Year award and Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative.

A statement from the EAP said the photo was taken during Cricket Fiji's Island Cricket Project.

"The project involves women from ages 14-69 years old and uses cricket to combat physical inactivity whilst raising awareness of risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs)," said the statement.

"This programme was modeled on the successful pilot project conducted by the Vanuatu Cricket Association in 2012. The photo shows two participants showing the joy that cricket and physical activity can bring."

The statement said the other award was for Cricket Fiji's Inclusive Cricket Programme.

"Cricket Fiji boasts one of the best inclusive sports programmes in Fiji as they provide a range of playing opportunities to people of all abilities.

"In 2013, Cricket Fiji undertook its first Inclusive Cricket Roadshow, which travelled around various rural areas of Fiji visiting special schools and communities who had not previously experienced cricket playing opportunities.

"They also enlisted the help of the Fijian-born Australian Blind Cricketer Mark Haskett, who has since become the ambassador of Cricket Fiji's Inclusive Cricket Programme.

"The year was rounded off with a visit from the United Nations Special Advisor for Sport for Development and Peace (Wilfried Lemke) who was particularly impressed with Cricket Fiji's efforts to make cricket a sport for all Fijians."

Cricket Fiji chief executive officer Inoke Lesuma said Cricket Fiji last won an ICC award back in 2007 and this weekend's achievement was a good sign.

"It means a lot, credit to the team at Cricket Fiji," he said.

"The last time that we won an ICC award was in 2007 so seven years later is a bit too late but at the end of the day it is an indication of good progress; like we say in cricket, heads down and keep working hard."

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