Fiji Outrigger is pleased to announce a 24-member Team Va’a to the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
“This is perhaps the biggest contingentsent by Fiji Outrigger to an international competition and we are very excited to be able to compete in all 12 outrigger paddling events in both the women and men’s divisions” says Paul Yaqona, Team Va’a Section Manager.
Team Va’a Fiji will be competing in the single (V1), six-person (V6) and twelve-person (V12) canoe races over sprint distances of 500m and 1500m.
The marathon races cover distances between 10 and 30km. “The team have been training and participating in trials since October last year” says Paul Yaqona. ”Soon it will be time to put all that preparation to the test and compete for podium places at the Games”.
The Va’a team’s preparations have beenassisted through sponsorship from BSP, the major supporter of the 2015 Pacific Games. “BSP have generously supported the preparation of the team with a $1,000 grant. Taking a mens’ and womens’ team to PNG is costly, so the support of BSP is absolutely valuable to minority sports such as outrigger canoeing” explained Paul.
The team has also been supported in its fundraising efforts by the clubs affiliated to Fiji Outriggerand are aiming to raise the profile of the sport and inspire more young people to take up this truly unique and Pacific sport.
Fiji Outrigger would like to encourage the growth of the outrigger paddling sport and the development of more Junior paddlers in Fiji who have great potential to represent their country at international competitions like the Pacific Mini Games and the Pacific Games. Outrigger Paddling is the only sport in the Pacific Games and the world for that matter that can trace its roots back to the Pacific.
Current junior and senior paddlers will be competing at the next Sprint Regatta in Suva on 20th June which will be held at the National Canoe Centre next to the Fiji Maritime Academy and USP. The Fiji Va’a team will also be showcased during this regatta and the public are very welcome to come down to the regatta and enjoy the day.