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Media Center > Speeches > HON PM BAINIMARAMA SPEECH AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF 2017 COCA-COLA GAMES

HON PM BAINIMARAMA SPEECH AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF 2017 COCA-COLA GAMES

4/22/2017
Students, the young men and women of Fiji,
Parents,
Teachers,
Officials,
Organisers of the Cocoa Cola Games,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Bula vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.

What a fantastic three days of competition we’ve had this year at the Fiji Secondary Schools Athletics Championships – the Coca-Cola Games. As we close out another great weekend, I just want to say a few words about the importance of these games.

Every year, this weekend is filled with triumphs and disappointments. But for these student athletes to have even made it this far to compete at this level is a big accomplishment.

So to our winners, I say congratulations. And to those who fell short, I say congratulations as well. You all represent the best that Fiji has to offer, and you all ought to be proud of how you performed.

We are blessed with a lot of athletic talent in Fiji. But more importantly, we are blessed with many young men and women who understand the importance of discipline and who display an unrelenting commitment to excellence. Because talent alone won’t take you anywhere, it is mental toughness, a competitive drive to do well and a dedication to the long hours of training that determine success in competition.

But what makes these games special, is that regardless of the fierce competition on the field, our competitors can come together afterwards as friends and as fellow Fijians. That is what makes great sportspeople, and it is a true hallmark of the Fijian way. And again this year, we’ve seen that on full display at these games.

Ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the day, we are all on the same team: Team Fiji. We all want our country to do well and in particular the young people in Fiji. This is why my government is providing free education, subsidized bus fares, TELS and Toppers Scholarship and creating a better sporting environment. To create better sporting facilities throughout Fiji and as you know the facility in Churchill Park has been completed and Lautoka will host next year’s Coca Cola games. Western schools do not need to travel to Suva and Suva schools can travel to the second largest city in Fiji. In this way, we will get to know more about each other’s towns and cities.

Today, let us be grateful to have witnessed our student athletes compete so well here in Suva. I’m sure we are all feeling inspired after watching them put so much sweat and effort into this competition. And in our day to day lives, let that motivate us all to build a better and more prosperous Fiji, and set an example for all of our young people that they can one day follow.

Last but not least I wish to also thank the teachers and your coaches who have equally put in the energy, guidance and moral support. The parents, family, friends, old boys and old girls who have provided the athletes with the much needed support and enthusiasm. The officials who made sure the games were managed well and with integrity and the sponsors of the games, without whom this event may not have been possible.

Thank you to everyone else and again the athletes for making this event a successful annual feature in the Fijian calendar.

I wish all of our students a safe first term holiday.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.
 
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