70 percent of budget used – Saukuru

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Minister for Youth and Sports, Jese Saukuru. Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has utilised more than 70 per cent of the $14.1 million budgetary allocation for FY2023/2024.

Minister Jese Saukuru highlighted this in Parliament this week, adding that the Coalition Government is focused firmly on sports development in addition to supporting Fiji’s youth.

According to Saukuru, sports was a crucial factor in promoting health, unity, and excellence.

“Sports make up 72 per cent of the ministry’s current budget which include the Government grants that the Fiji National Sports Commission administers,” he said.

He also outlined some of Fiji’s sports achievements supported by Government over the past year.

Among these were the Fiji Water Flying Fijians’ participation in the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Fiji’s sixth place finish in the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara, with 21 gold, 30 silver and 40 bronze medals, and Fiji Women’s Deaf Rugby 7s team winning gold for the first time in the Australian Deaf Games.

Saukuru told Parliament that Fiji had also, through the Fiji National Sports Commission, successfully organised the inaugural Community Sports Competition last year.

“Minor sports like weightlifting continue to make their mark in the international arena.

“Both amateur and professional boxing are showing greater improvements with new sports administrators.”

Saukuru also confirmed that Fiji will send a small delegation to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

Meanwhile, Saukuru also commended the passing of Fiji’s National Anti-Doping Policy and the National Sports, Recreation and Physical Activity Policy.

This, he said, would promote sports development, physical activity, and healthy lifestyle among all citizens.

“These policies aim to make Fiji a sporting hub of the Pacific and promote sports tourism opportunities. A major undertaking is the establishment of an anti-doping organisation in Fiji to the entire sports systems, to have clean sports advocating, promoting, and co-ordinating the fight against doping in sports in all its forms to ensure doping-free sport is valued.

“Your Coalition Government had allocated $386,700 in our current National Budget towards the establishment of our own NADO secretariat.”

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