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Media Center > Speeches > HE PRESIDENT JIOJI KONROTE AT THE I-TATAU CEREMONY BY TEAM FIJI TO THE 2019 TOUCH RUGBY WORLD CUP

HE PRESIDENT JIOJI KONROTE AT THE I-TATAU CEREMONY BY TEAM FIJI TO THE 2019 TOUCH RUGBY WORLD CUP

4/15/2019
• The Fiji Touch Rugby Open Men and Mix Teams Head Coach - Mr. Jack Sade;
• The Women’s Open Team Head Coach – Mr. Tomasi Tiko;
• The Reverend Raki Tigarea;
• Secretary, Touch Rugby Federation Fiji – Ms. Olita Antonio;
• Players and Officials;
• Family and Friends;
• Members of the Media; and
• Ladies and Gentlemen.

Ni sa bula vinaka, namaste and a very good morning and warm greetings to you all.

At the outset, I wish to acknowledge and thank Reverend Raki Tigarea for sharing with us a few words of spiritual wisdom and prayer as we gather to farewell our team to the 2019 Touch Rugby World Cup, in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

It is always an honour and pleasure for my wife Sarote and I to welcome all of Fiji’s national sporting teams to the State House to present their traditional Fijian iTaukei, iTatau before they depart our shores with the hope of stamping our beloved Nation’s name into the annals of sports history as world Champions.

Ladies and gentlemen, as your President/Head of State, I welcome you to the newly renovated Conservatory/Vakatunuloa of the State House with great pleasure, gratitude and appreciation as my wife and I had always done to all other sporting National Teams which had come before you.

You are members of the second team to visit and present your iTatau in this refurbished and renovated Conservatory – following in the footsteps of the members of our National Team of Special Athletes (People with Determination) who performed so exceptionally well and created history during the recent Special Olympic Games which was held in Abu Dhabi last month.

These “People with Determination”, our special athletes created history and made us all proud to be Fijians as did our gallant, victorious and globe-trotting National Sevens Rugby Team which created history by winning the much coveted Hong Kong Sevens Championship trophy recently.

Despite losing the finals of the Singapore International Rugby Board Sevens Tournament to South Africa last night, we should all acknowledge with appreciation and great pride, commend and congratulate our 7s Warriors for their most excellent display of determination and good sportsmanship in upholding the now world-renowned Fijian Bula Spirit – the Winning Spirit, that Fiji is the Olympic Champion and Trend-Setter when it comes to the Rugby’s shortened code of Sevens.

In this regard, I am very confident that you will undoubtedly perform equally well so please be assured that as you present your traditional iTatau and prepare to depart our shores, our prayers and good wishes go with you.

To each and everyone of our 120 members Men and Women Touch Rugby Teams, I would like to, on behalf of Government and all Fijians commend and congratulate you for ‘making the cut’ and being selected into our National Teams.

I know and understand that being selected to represent our beloved nation in any international sporting competition has always been hard and for this, it would be remiss of me if I do not commend, congratulate and thank you for your personal determination, commitment and perseverance over the past couple of months and years for those of you who have been involved with the sport for sometime now.

Similarly, I would like to acknowledge the support of your equally determined and hardworking Team Officials, the Coaches, Managers and Administrators who always work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that as players you realise your full potential by performing to their expectations and that of your families, friends and a Sports loving and passionate nation.
At this juncture, I also consider it prudent that I also acknowledge the support of your respective families, friends and last but not least – the tremendous and vital support of your Sponsors.

To all of you, I would like to say Vinaka Vakalevu, Dhanyavaad and Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to give you some fatherly advise – To the players I would like to remind you to remain focussed, listen to your coaches, play as a Team and look after one another – be good Ambassadors, on and off the field and always display good sportsmanship by accepting victory with humility and defeat with gratitude and honour.

In conclusion, I would like to remind you of my other responsibility as our beloved Nation’s Chief Advocate/Champion in our national endeavours to combat the Present, Real and Clear Threat of the Prevalence of Non-Communicable Disease related ailments (Hypertension & Diabetes) within our Communities.

Please remain fit and well by maintaining a healthy lifestyle – by eating well and exercising daily, for to date Government has been spending about $400million annually to treat NCD related ailments – much needed funds that could be chanelled into other sectors like Education and Sports to ensure that you our young athletes of today can continue to represent our country as fit, well trained and motivated Fijians in years to come.

May Almighty God Bless you as you leave our shores soon to represent Fiji in the forthcoming Touch Rugby World Cup in Putrajaya, Malaysia which is scheduled for the 28th April to 5th May 2019.

Thank you, Vinaka Vakalevu and Dhanyavaad.

God bless always.
 
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