THOUSANDS of primary school netters from across the country took to the streets of Labasa the spirit of competition as they participated in a march to mark the opening of the Fiji Primary Schools Netball Inter-District Championship.
The Northern town was abuzz with parents, supporters, teachers and well-wishers who converged in numbers to show their support to their young netball players.
In officially opening the three-day tournament, permanent secretary for Youth and Sports Josefa Sania said the willingness to travel from afar would not only boost the Northern economy but also to the development of netball in the division.
"I believe there's a rippling effect of this tournament in the later days as we will not only unearth raw talents for further developments but also create more interests for the netball enthusiasts in the North," he said.
"The government recognises the contribution of sports to our nation and a cabinet on May 20 this year endorsed a public holiday for 2015 as national sports day.
"The government has a bigger strategy called the Look North Policy and this envisages the development of the Northern Division in all facets and sports too is included."
Sania also urged the teachers that they should always keep an open mind while educating children.
"Some of these young netball players may not be as bright and are poor academically. Their participation in this tournament is recognition of their athletic abilities to you.
"I urge you all to work around it and create a well-balanced environment that will nurture and harness their sporting prowess."
The competition will be held from under-9 to under-14 grades.