Athletes to set focus

With more than a month to go before the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu, chef de mission Wayne O’Connor is encouraging athletes to aim high.

Competition is now tougher than what it used to be and O’Connor said our athletes needed to start looking at the bigger picture and not only focus on records held nationally.

“We know that athletes try to do their best but we are expecting that they will do more than their best,” O’Connor said.

“We hear so much about athletes wanting to achieve their personal bests but that is out of the question, they should be really preparing for the target.

“They need to be asking themselves what the record is, what is the status that they need to get to and what is their competition doing in the region and that is what they need to be focusing on; to better that mark of their opposition in the region.

“That is what we hope they will really come back with and feel hearty about, that they have achieved something beyond their personal bests because their personal bests is only a figure that is only appropriate at home nationally but we want them to get to a better level.

“So rather then stagnating and improving little by little we hope they can be giant strides because competition now is getting a lot more stronger.

“They need to have good endurance, they need to have good strength and conditioning and they need to be upfront with what they are doing and be honest about their training because in the end those who are really fit and committed to their sport are the ones who will succeed.”

To add to the competition, especially weight-lifting, Australia and New Zealand have been invited for the first time to the Pacific Mini Games which will lift the standard O’Connor said.

“The inclusion of Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific Mini Games for the first time will be able to give us, in the Pacific region, some competition in the particular sports that they will be taking part in,” he said.

“These two countries shine at other games so it is an opportunity for our people to shine at this level and really feel comfortable about achieving good results.

“It will definitely be a challenge for our lifters and meeting their friendly foes from across the ditch I think the competition will be quite interesting to watch.”

As time is getting nearer to the games, O’Connor said it was important that the section managers and coaches worked closely together to ensure a smooth transition.

“The preparations over the months have been very smooth, we have had rough patches as with organising any group to travel and it is a large group to travel to the mini games.

“As we get closer with a month to go, the momentum picks up and there is still much to do and so we continue to rely on the availability and the commitment of all involved. Particularly with the national federations, their selected managers and coaches and these two persons representing their sport need to continue to work together so that it is a smooth transition all the way through in these last months.” O’Connor said.

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