Development begins now

Capatins of various participating schools during the launch of the Fiji Secondary Schools Fiji National Rugby League 2020 Vodafone Trophy competition and anti-drugs campaign at the ANZ Stadium Corporate Booth in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE assistant minister for Youth and Sports Alipate Nagata has called on for the development of secondary school league players as they prepare for the Youth Rugby World Cup in France.

“I note that this year will also see development works at secondary school level particularly in the under 15 and 16 boys and girls division in preparation for the Youth Rugby World Cup in 2023,” he said.

“While we look forward to the progress towards a youth team for the competition we also should be mindful of the fact that youths are a key segment of the population and particularly vulnerable to a range of protection risks and to deviating to the wrong side of the law.

“It will not be an easy task and I assure you all that the Ministry is willing to step in and be part of this development work especially in terms of appropriate guidance and training which is vital for young people to make knowledgeable decisions, avoid crime and use their abilities and potential for a sustainable livelihood and success.”

Nonetheless, the Fiji National Rugby League has come a long way since its inception in 1992 and to be ranked 5th in the world is quite an achievement in itself Nagata added.

“We also saw last year the inclusion of a Fijian rugby league team in Australia’s Ron Massey Cup and this will help push FNRL’s agenda for growth locally and at the same time open up economic opportunities for players.

He also thanked FNRL for joining in for the fight to stop drugs.

“The use of drug to enhance a person’s game is happening in Fiji and this is a reality that we must face head on and tackle to ensure our sportsmen and women remain drug free in this competitive sport. In addition, it is also a challenge to understand just who may be those that have to protect, who should be protected and the measures that need to be taken. To help our fight against this we must intervene at the earliest stages of life of our young people and I thank the FNRL for taking this up to our youngsters playing the game.”

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