Olympism breaks sports barriers

Fiji’s Hamidan Bibi (left), and Carl Probert network with delegates at the inaugural Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Picture: SUPPLIED

STAKEHOLDERS of Fijian sports are working towards using sports to unite, help, motivate and keep Fijians safe.

As Fiji leads the charge against the global problem of climate change, some of our sports executives are doing the same in ensuring that sports run on a fair play platform.

This was heard when Fiji officials Carl Probert and Hamidan Bibi attended the inaugural International Olympic Committee-sponsored Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the start of the month. Fiji was among delegates from 150 countries.

It was a prelude to the ongoing 2018 Youth Olympic Games at the same venue.

Olympian and former Fiji and South Pacific swimming champion Probert, is the president of Fiji Olympians Association and a rep in the Oceania for Olympians while Bibi is the Women In Sports Commission (WISC) chairperson.

They were nominated by FASANOC.

“It was an opportunity to experience Olympism in action and see and hear the many life-changing stories of those who use the power of sports whether it be through playing or just being a part of sports in a variety of ways,” Bibi, a former local lawn tennis champion said.

“Discussions centred around the three values of Olympism. They are respect, excellence and friendship. Topics such as human rights, shifting gender norms, abuse, safe sport, disability and protection, education in sport, and the work of individuals and organisatons in making sports a fun and enjoyable feat, including as a sound business were popular among the delegates.

“Fiji is fortunate to have a population that desires to make sports a part of our lives and to strengthen communities. Many barriers remain for women and girls, men and boys to fully engage, participate and enjoy a sport, including decision making at leadership level.

“Through respect, excellence and friendship, we can promote and add value to a range of opportunities by using sports to help reduce many barriers.

“We all can embrace the challenge and use the power of sports to not only build new bridges, but also help reduce the rising costs of health care for individuals, families and thus communities,” Bibi said Olympism, according to Wikipedia, refers to the philosophy of the Olympic Games.

Olympism seeks to create a way of life by blending sport with culture, education and international co-operation.

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