Wainimala athletes overcome struggles

Wainimala Secondary School athletes during the Triple N Zone competition at the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Wainimala Secondary School athletes during the Triple N Zone competition at the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

WANIMALA Secondary School athletes overcame the challenges of having to daily cross the Wainimala River to travelling on horseback to reach their school for studies and later training in the afternoon.

The athletes, who had to use the natural shades to protect them from the heat at Bidesi Ground yesterday, showed commitment and discipline at the Nasinu-Naitasiri-Nausori Secondary Schools Athletics Zone or Triple N Zone competition at the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday.

Team manger Epeli Drasa said he was proud of the athletes’ zeal towards athletics.

“We had three weeks of preparation since it was raining heavily after the inter-house. The athletes had roadruns as part of the training because of the muddy ground,” Drasa said.

“The school is located about 500 metres from the Wailoa Power Station in the interior of Viti Levu. We have to cross the river to where the school is located.

“We have a few of the distance runners in the school and this year we have 80 athletes compared with 20 athletes in past years.

“We had to hire two buses to accommodate the spectators. They left about 4am to reach Suva on time.

“It is hard for them to reach school and they made sacrifices to achieve their dreams. The roads have not reached their villages yet so they would come by horseback and then wait for the bus or the carrier to take them to school,” he said.

“Most of the athletes come from the nearby villages.

“We need to look at our training strategies because of the new tracks.Whenever our athletes wear socks and run instead of using track shoes, their feet get blisters.

“We have to buy track shoes for them and that is one area which needs to be improved.”

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