Help for Fiji’s paralympics athletes
11 June, 2021, 3:36 pm
Fijian athletes vying for a spot in the Paralympic Games in Japan will soon get help to prepare them for the Tokyo Games.
The Australian government and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has approved funding to Pacific Paralympics athletes to train and compete in qualification events leading up to Tokyo.
This is because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has severely affected many Pacific athletes.
Through the Australian government’s PacificAus Sports program, 11 Pacific nations – an estimated 150 Olympics athletes from the Pacific Island nations of Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are looking to secure a spot on their respective Olympic Games’ teams.
Fiji’s Australian-based Paralympic athlete Inosi Bulimariewa will be among athletes gaining from the assistance. Bulimariewa is self-taught in javelin, having used YouTube to learn about the sport and is now heading off to the Paralympics.
“When I got my prosthetic leg, I decided to learn how to run and from there I started to think of what athletic sport I could participate in and enjoy at the same time,” he said.
“I like javelin and went with it, but there was no coach available for me, so I got a lot of my training ideas from YouTube,” he said. The program enabled to organise a coach for Bulimariewa, which he said was a positive change for him professionally.
“It helped with my training because before, I didn’t know if I was doing the right technique or had anyone tell me what I can improve on.
“Having a coach means I’m able to have someone correct my performance and I can find out what I need to improve on as I train,” he shared.