Fijian welcome

Team Fiji players and officials during their church service on Sunday. Picture: SUPPLIED

Team Fiji players and officials during their church service on Sunday. Picture: SUPPLIED

TEAM Fiji was officially welcomed Fijian style at the Commonwealth Games Village in Brisbane on Sunday night.

The event was led by Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia, Yogesh Punja and members of the Fijian Association in Brisbane.

It started with a traditional ceremony of welcome and a multi-denomination religious service, said Team Fiji media liaison officer Sitiveni Tawakevou.

“It was emotional watching the support and the encouragement given to Team Fiji in this Commonwealth Games,” Tawakevou said.

“Punja encouraged the athletes and it was inspiring to see that all Fijians present in the event bowed together in prayer no matter what race, religion and colour they represent. We all prayed together as Fiji. That alone boosted the athletes’ morale. They were inspired and we know that exciting results are instore for us.

The service was on Resurrection Day or Easter Sunday on April 1 and the message relayed by Punja was that we are here fighting together for our country and our families.”

Team Fiji chef de mission Patrick Bower reminded the athletes of the importance of Fijian support in Brisbane. He said it would help win medals.

Meanwhile, volunteers in the games include some Fijians living in Australia.

“They are stationed at various centres so our athletes will not be alone at some competition venues,” Tawakevou said.

The games proper will start on Thursday after Wednesday night’s colourful opening ceremony.

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