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Sport is for all in Fiji

2008-11-25

Australia is leading by example in helping more people with disabilities in Fiji to enjoy the benefits and fun of organized sport and physical activity.   

The Australian Government, through AusAID and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), has committed $5 million over five years to roll out the Australian Sports Outreach Program in the Pacific nations of Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, Nauru and Fiji.   In Fiji, the ASC has been assisting the Fiji Sports Association for the Disabled (FSAD) to introduce and coordinate inclusive sport activities in 17 special education centres across the country to benefit the health and wellbeing of more than 1060 children with disabilities.   

Saimoni Nainoca, FSAD Sport Development Officer, said that one of their goals is to tailor activities to meet the needs of people with disabilities and create opportunities for them to participate in a greater variety of sports.

This includes assisting the Fijian sporting federations to develop and deliver inclusive activities such as wheelchair tennis, table tennis, archery and lawn bowls.  

'It's wonderful to see so many more children with a disability in Fiji enjoying the benefits of sport, many for the first time,' said Mr Nainoca.

'Sport is being used as a vehicle to help improve the lives of people with disabilities in Fijian communities, to highlight their skills and abilities, help them develop confidence, encourage personal independence and promote more positive attitudes amongst the general Fijian public.'   One of the main aims of the program is to help build the capacity of schools, sporting federations and disabled people's organizations in Fiji to deliver their own sporting programs for people with disabilities.

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