Understand the roles

Participants at the 2023 FASANOC Athletes' Commission last Saturday. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) Athletes Commission outgoing chairperson Hilda Kunau is adamant that new members of the commission will understand their roles and responsibilities.

The commission, last weekend held its general elections during the 2023 FASANOC Athletes’ Commission forum which was attended by athlete representatives from 17 national federations who voted in two new members on Saturday, May 27, 2023 at the Holiday Inn.

“The commission is an integral part of FASANOC’s strategic plan and is looking into more athlete participation in decision-making,” Kunau said.

“It is important that the athlete reps raise their hands and voices and contribute to not only athlete welfare but the growing brand that is FASANOC.”

Kunau said without athletes there was no FASANOC and vice versa so it was important to work closely not only with FASANOC but other commissions that fell under the FASANOC umbrella.

The new members of the commission are para-athlete Leslie Tikotikoca and Andre Roxburgh (squash) who join newly-elected chairperson Quintyn Stephen (shooting).

The following champions continue their role as committee members: Olympians Cheyenne Rova and Matelita Buadromo (swimming), Catherine Thaggard (hockey), William Bennion (chess) and Naomi Waqanidrola (football).

FASANOC chief executive Vanessa Kilner congratulated the new members of the commission and reminded them of the important role they played within FASANOC.

“It is important that we know who we are and where we are going as a commission,” she said.

“Within FASANOC’s strategic plan, there is a who pillar dedicated to athletes so we have to create more awareness and take ownership of the role we play within the commission.”

Kilner said it was important that the commission raise its standards and collectively work together to find out what worked and what didn’t in the past.

“I’m excited about the future of the commission and hope that they will continue to have their voices heard within the FASANOC executive board.

Kilner encouraged the newly-elected members of the commission to have an open mind and also to speak out when required. Representatives from World Archery Fiji, Fiji Islands Baseball and Softball Association, Fiji Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, Fiji Chess Federation, Golf Fiji, Fiji Hockey Federation, Fiji Football Association, Karate Fiji, Squash Fiji, Shooting Association of Fiji, Fiji Swimming, Tennis Fiji, Fiji Triathlon, Fiji Taekwondo Association, Fiji Volleyball Federation and Fiji Outrigger Canoe Racing Association attended the forum with some attending on-line.

The work of the commission is positioned under the FASANOC Strategic Plan under Strategic Focus: Commissions and Sport Services whose goal is to “provide support for the development and growth of national federations and commissions through positive collaboration”.

The commission was established by FASANOC in 2003 to promote and protect the best interests of Fiji’s national sports athletes with one of its functions being to represent the views and concerns of athletes to the FASANOC executive board (EB) and to promote athlete involvement in decision-making at all levels.

The commission’s mission statement is to create a healthy and conducive environment for the holistic growth of athletes where their best interests are always at the heart and its purpose is to create a safe space for athletes to know their rights and work with FASANOC and the national federations to promote Safe Sport.

The commission promotes athlete involvement by advocating the benefits of athlete involvement in FASANOC and NF decision-making and specifically advocates the FAC’s learning and support other FASANOC Commissions in advocating their learning as well as empowering athlete representation through athlete representatives on the EB of NFs.

The chair of the commission alternates between a male and female every term as it strives for gender equality in its composition.

More Stories