Flooding keeps athletes at home

Wainibuka Secondary School athletes with coach Semisi Bainivalu at the school in Tailevu. Picture: PAULINI RATULAILAI

Wainibuka Secondary School athletes with coach Semisi Bainivalu at the school in Tailevu. Picture: PAULINI RATULAILAI

WITH nine days left for the Coca-Cola Games National championship, athletes from Wainibuka Secondary School are suffering from the ongoing flash flooding that is affecting villagers in the area.

The school was badly affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

Now with the rainy weather experiencing around the country it has affected the children especially the athletes.

Coach Semisi Bainivalu said the majority of the athletes live in areas that are prone to flooding.

“With these frequent heavy rains for the past days most of our athletes are not coming to school which is concern because they miss out on training,” he said.

“We’re also concerned about their safety, so we’ve arranged for these athletes to come and stay with the teachers.

“Their safety is our priority so by keeping them with us will help us teachers train them and also help them be updated with their school work.”

The school, which is located in the interior of Tailevu north, came second in the girls division during the Tailevu zone and was ranked fifth in the boys division.

The Tailevu-based school is well-known for winning gold medals in the long distance events.

Bainivalu said 41 athletes qualified after the zone, but the lack of resources and finances prompted them to cut down the number of their athletes.

“We will have another trial where we will cut down the number to 25-30 member squad.

“One of our main challenges now is to cater our students for the three days competition.

“Last year we used up to $1000 for our transportation, accommodation and our daily meals which we the teachers forked out of our pockets all for the love of the sport.”

Bainivalu said last year they won two golds and this year their were aiming to win more gold especially in the long distance events.

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