Take a bow

The Sports Minister presents the Overall Winner Senior Boys’ Division Award to Ratu Kadavulevu School. Picture: SUPPLIED

TAKE a bow people.

Congratulations are in order for the giants of Fiji high schools athletics.

Ratu Kadavulevu School and Adi Cakobau School have effectively shifted the power base of high schools athletics firmly back to the Central Division. RKS, once a dominant force in high schools athletics came back with a bang this year after 21 years in the wilderness. They had come so close last year until that 4×400 metre relay clinched victory for Natabua High School. This year the defending champions found the going tough.

Sceptics will insist the writing was on the wall when RKS made a clean sweep of the Deans Trophy rugby competition last year. If that wasn’t enough, they won this year’s rugby league competition. Perhaps what will probably come to the fore is the manner in which RKS and ACS lived their dreams. Schools in the Central Division have the resources that should stand them in good stead at this level of competition. In the end, it is about progressive development and nurturing support bases. There is a lesson here.

It is about commitment and the desire to do well. It is about working hard to live a dream no matter how big the obstacles are. It is about self-belief. Not every athlete who makes it to the games will win a gold medal. There must be a sense of accomplishment though, of having made it there. This is when the months of training, sweat, tears, and yearning for a taste of action on the big stage are savoured to the brim. They make the Fiji Finals special. This is why it is critically important that organisers are on top of their game.

There is no room at this level for second guessing. The athletes have put in the hard yards. They have made huge sacrifices. Schools have committed themselves to bringing their best athletes over for what is arguably the most popular sporting event in the country. There is an expectation that organisers will play their part to the highest standards. The athletes and the event are on show to the world. Heavy media coverage in the newspapers, radio, television and on the internet have firmly made this event a much anticipated one annually. Every participant is under scrutiny. It does place great pressure on their young shoulders. On the other side of the divide, it is the responsibility of the organisers to live up to the expectations of thousands of fans.

They certainly have a tough task. Every year we unveil the cream of the crop so to speak. Yet every year, when we look back at this massive event, hundreds of our top athletes have disappeared. The next big question now is … where to from here? Nevertheless, we acknowledge the organisers, supporters, former scholars, schools and the athletes for their part in making the 2018 Fiji Finals an exciting event. Congratulations are in order for RKS and ACS, our 2018 Fiji Finals champions.

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