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Savusavu sailor offfered sailing scholarship

Arin Kumar
Monday, June 16, 2014

SAVUSAVU-based sailor Robert Hazelman has been offered a scholarship to attend high performance training in Spain.

This comes after he won a bronze medal at the Oceania Sailing Championship in New Caledonia last week.

Hazelman was up against top sailors of New Caledonia who were based in France.

The 21-year-old said the three-week high performance training was fully funded by the International Sailing Federation except for the airfare.

"We are now in the process of looking for sponsors to assist with the airfares to get me to Spain so that I can be part of the high performance training," he said.

"The training is really important because I would be representing Fiji at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea next year and it would also be a good start for me in my bid to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil."

Fiji Yachting Association secretary Neville Koop hopes someone would recognise the talent in Hazelman and sponsor his trip to Spain.

"He has to be there in September and we would begin our own fundraising very soon but if some sponsors were to come on board, it would be a good thing for a young and upcoming sailor," he said.

Meanwhile, two other budding sailors who competed at the Oceania Championships are looking to better their performance.

It was the first international competition for Naomi Waqalevu, 17, and Viliame Ratulu, 14 and they are hungry for more competition.

"It was really tough competition and it helped me identify my weaknesses so I would need to improve on that," Waqalevu said.

"There were a lot of young competitors there and they were really good and I would need to train harder to improve my performance," Ratulu said.

The trio thanked the Savusavu Yacht Club, Roberta Leppa and Bligh Water Shipping for their support.

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