Wong: Relook at strategic plans

TEAM Fiji chef de mission to the Pacific Games Cathy Wong has asked national sporting federations to relook at their strategic plans after what she considers a disappointing performance at the Pacific Games.

In an interview Wong said the team’s fourth place finish was “below the expected mission and vision” and that some teams “did not deliver as promised” failing in their capacity to secure a positive return of investment by the state and sponsors.

“The national federations really need to start looking at their governance. It was evident which sports had good governance systems in place and these sports that had good governance systems in place, allow them to deliver. I could pick it out from the tips of my fingers which sports were really good. Sports that did not have good governance in place are a total reflection of their total performance,” she said.

She added that there was a need to change the view that most sports are a reflection of the people who run it.

“I think we need to change that image, the sport is determined by your organisational structure which is strong enough to hold them through, and irrespective of who is in leadership,” she said.

Wong said the lack of strategic and organisational cohesion contributed to the team’s “yoyo” performance in the past regional events.

“If the organisations are strong, it will hold it through good and bad times and for me as a chef de mission, I was able to see right through which sports were strong and which sports were really lacking which reflected on our performance on the medal tally,” she said.

She added that money was not a deciding factor to an athlete’s ability to win gold.

“People say they had a budget of $44 million for the athletes and structure budget of $1.2 billion.

“If you look at all of that, yes you need money to run the games but to win medals, you need heart and spirit. Money alone does not win gold medals,” she said.

Wong said of the teams that went, sports that were outstanding included karate, rugby and boxing.

In terms of preparing for the next Pacific Games in Tonga she said teams need to start preparing now.

“If you are preparing one year out from the games, its too late, you’ve missed the boat.

“We need to now go back relook and re-evaluate what our weaknesses were and see where we went wrong and hopefully do not do those mistakes again.”