National federations urged to keep to timelines

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Team Fiji officials and athletes during the Mini Pacific Games in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands last year. Picture: FASANOC

Team Fiji chef de mission to the 2023 Pacific Games Ajay Ballu is urging national federations to keep to timelines set by Team Fiji after their return from the chef de missions meeting in the Solomon Islands last year.

“We appeal to national federations hoping to participate at the games to pay their bond, levies and submit squad lists on time,” he said.

The bond imposed by the Pacific Games Council (PGC) is to ensure countries participate in the sport for which they tender interest in well before the games.

Under the Games Management Protocols 7:7 – in the Pacific Games Charter, it states that – “Each PGA shall forward to the OC its first round of numerical entries in duplicate, and on a special form, or electronically as provided by the Charter, listing the sports and events in which it intends to participate and the numbers of its expected participants, not less than 12 months before the date of the opening ceremony of the Games.

“To confirm their entries, PGAs shall pay the OC a US$1000 deposit per men’s sport and US$1000 per women’s sport, to be offset against Games time per diem levies for each sport.”

Ballu said of the 27 sports including para-athletics and para table tennis, only 17 sports had paid their bond in full with four sports partially paid.

The PGC needs this commitment from countries to plan for accommodation, transport, meals and other logistics with the organising committee.

“Should national federations fail to meet this deadline, certain sports may not be allowed to participate at the games for their respective countries,” Ballu said.

“Team Fiji has continuously reminded national federations on the deadline for the payment of the bond since last year so there really is no excuse.”

Meanwhile, potential coaches and managers hoping to participate at the games went through FASANOC’s Selection Justification Commission (SJC) interviews during the past few weeks and which end this week.

“The objectives of SJC is to ensure that suitably qualified team officials are selected and that the implementation of the FASANOC Athlete Minimum Selection Policy is included in selecting athletes,” Ballu said.

“This is done through rigorous understanding and application of the policy guidelines and standards, ensuring the best and qualified athletes make national representation, and to make the final recommendation of travelling teams to FASANOC for every sport undertaking at national level including the Pacific Games.”

Prior to the SJC interview process, national federations are required to submit their team selection criteria which will be heavily scrutinised against the selection of the national federations coaches and managers.

Ballu said FASANOC’s executive board meets early this month to discuss recommendations made by the SJC members on coaches and managers.

Team officials that are approved/selected by the executive board will be notified by an appointment letter.

Ballu said the SJC was also working closely with the Oceania Sports Education Programme (OSEP) to ensure that all coaches and/or managers are suitably qualified for the positions nominated and selected which is a requirement of FASANOC.

“We will also look at working with FASANOC’s High Performance Commission to administer fitness tests for athletes to ensure only those athletes who pass these tests become selected members of Team Fiji.

“This includes members of teams who are athletes, coaches and team managers who must realise that we are serious and if they do not meet the requirements, they will not be going,” he said.

The Pacific Games will include the following sports: Archery, Athletics & Para, Basketball, Basketball including 3×3, Bodybuilding, Boxing, Football, Beach Soccer, Futsal, Golf, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Netball, Outrigger Canoeing, Powerlifting, Rugby League Nines, Rugby Sevens, Sailing, Swimming, Table Tennis & Para, Taekwondo, Tennis, Touch Rugby, Triathlon, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball and Weightlifting.

Meanwhile, Ballu has made recommendations for the roles of general managers to assist him for the games and anticipates the appointments will to be made as soon as FASANOC’s executive board meets.

The 2023 Pacific Games is scheduled to be held in Honiara, Solomon Islands for the first time between November 19 and December 2, 2023.

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