Letters to the Editor – Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Running for glory
Once again The Fiji Times has done a wonderful coverage building up to the 2019 Coca-Cola Games!
First it was the beautiful cover page showing our athletes from Gau Secondary School and then the heart-touching stories from the various schools taking part in this year’s Fiji Finals.
Newspapers play a vital role in building excitement for the penultimate event in secondary schools sporting calendar and I’m glad that the journalists from The Fiji Times have not disappointed readers as we got a touch of the thrills at the national stadium.
I’m looking forward to the boy’s blue-ribbon event and upsets created by our rural and maritime schools.
Finally, hats off to Fiji One and FBC for bringing the event live to those who won’t be able to make it to Suva.
This year’s Fiji Finals is set to unite athletes, parents and old scholars and trust me we are set to be entertained by some high-class athleticism.
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu
The way police officers conduct point duty on our roads in the morning is very much appreciated and commendable.
But one thing I believe they are lacking is the expertise and professionalism in doing that very important duty as drivers depend on the movement of their hands.
Some officers I believe are confused about which hand should remain horizontal and which one should be pointed vertically.
And even the hands do not remain at shoulder level as it is supposed to be so drivers can see from a distance.
I hope front line supervisors will address this issue with the officers on the ground as they are the faces and image of the force.
It may seem minor but it carries a lot of weight.
Pita Soroaqali, Nadarivatu
The last occasion the Western Division hosted the Fiji Finals (as it was called then) at Lautoka was in the late 1990s or thereabouts at Churchill Park — on grass track.
Thereafter it was deemed that Suva City will always host the event since it has a synthetic track.
The Western Division now deserves to host the Coca-Cola Games again.
Churchill Park has a brand new synthetic track.
Champion athletes are coming out from the West in droves in all sports from surfing to golf to both rugby codes and what have you.
More recently — both the girls and boys overall Fiji Finals champs were West-based schools — Jasper Williams and Natabua High School.
There have been sterling performances from schools like Xavier College, Ratu Navula College, etc.
Accommodating teams, officials and spectators was never a problem then and will not be a problem now.
The transport system has improved greatly – wider tarsealed roads, modern buses.
Social facilities and eating places — are all plentiful in the West.
Parental support has never waned.
Year in, year out — our parents have travelled to Suva supporting their children.
A great number of westerners in the outback have only heard of the games and would love to see and experience the excitement of the games.
By the same token — a great number of persons from the East would enjoy seeing what the West has to offer.
The Ministry of Education, organisers and sponsors of this sporting event must seriously consider giving parents, schools, spectators, the business community and the public of the West the opportunity to host and enjoy the Fiji Finals too.
William Rosa, Tavua
Congratulations to the Fiji sevens team, winning in Hong Kong and then reaching the finals in Singapore is no mean feat.
Ben Ryan when he was coach often referred to the players’ physical condition after a tournament as being hit by a bus.
Five days of running and physical contact does take its toll on the players.
In the finals in Singapore we had only 11 players with four reserves and Ikanikoda who was visibly suffering from injuries also took on the bench but could not play, which cuts that down to three replacements.
A technical video by World Rugby ranked the Fiji sevens team as number one in turning over possession and they turned over twice as many balls as the South African team, that in itself is a great achievement.
The difference in the finals was the young South African players who were thrown into the deep end.
If you are a rugby enthusiast (and not biased to any team), you will agree that they played a superb game after suffering a few errors of their own.
Our young players again shone through, I’m lost for words over the confidence and tenacity displayed by Botitu and Derenalagi, they have certainly made their mark.
This should be an encouragement to local coaches on selection of young versatile players to be given technical guidance and more game time.
Hats off to our boys and the coaching staff, well done.
Sailosi Naewe, Naduru Rd, Nausori
It was predictable.
Why couldn’t we just follow the Singapore and Hong Kong system where both e-ticket and cash system are applicable?
Dan Urai, Lautoka
Can you believe that some of our registered security companies still pay their staff members on site with cash in a brown envelope.
Without any payslip, one can just imagine what happened to the FNPF deductions.
Pita Soroaqali, Nadarivatu
I listen to radios, watch television and often hear preachers, yelling, screaming and stomping if you like at the top of their voices.
They are holding on to a microphone instead and still not satisfied with the din.
Maybe they believe the One above cannot hear them?
For some, this week is Holy Week and there will be many noisy preachers.
Joji O Toronibau, Navetau, Tunuloa, Cakaudrove
I love Dan Urai’s letters.
Short yet very sweet.
A. Shariff Shah, Savusavu
Has the confiscated turtle meat from a group of Tailevu fishermen already disposed?
Or will it be tested and kept as evidence until the verdict is reached?
Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka
After the tournament in Vancouver, we were behind by 13 points.
After Hong Kong it was seven points and now after Singapore it has come down to only three points.
There is hope with two tournaments remaining that we will overtake USA and become the number one seed for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
It is now a two-team race, as New Zealand and South Africa have no chance at all to overtake USA and Fiji for number 1 one spot.
Vinaka Baber and the boys.
Ilaitia Bose, Suva
I believe we’re all entitled to our own opinions, so long as we don’t try to dictate it as a fact that supersedes all else.
Conviction shouldn’t be at the expense of others.
Talei Driso, Nailuva Rd, Suva
We almost pulled off the Singapore 7s despite losing two games during pool play.
Well done and better luck in the next tournament.
Dan Urai, Lautoka
Dead at sea
A great old friend and relative of mine died at sea yesterday.
He lived on his shorefront property off our southern Savusavu coastline and he loved the sea so much that he would be out on it or in it every fine day.
The many adventures he experienced out at sea over the years were always great stories he told.
He knew every rock and crevice along our coastline and where best to go catch a certain kind of fish.
For the past five decades, he was a regular lone figure out spearfishing either during the day or at night.
He mostly dived alone for convenience and without the hassle of others making too much noise, he told me.
He was a well-known prolific diver who is arguably one of the best and one that would be hard to emulate.
There are a number of men along our coastline who are lone rangers who go out spearfishing frequently and many of us would say that they would die at sea because they were always out there most times.
My friend was such a man and he found the serenity, the peace, and the beauty of the ocean hard to resist and he would never hesitate at the opportunity of going out whenever he could.
While the news of his passing was a shock to many, the circumstances in which he died was not only anticipated but fitting for a man who spent all of his life, beside, on, and in the ocean.
They say that when a man comes to love the sea life, he is not fit to live on land.
He lived and died at sea!
Farewell my friend!
Simon Hazelman, Rava Estate, Savusavu
Let’s move on
Only two rounds remain in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series where the top four teams at the end of the season will automatically qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The USA currently lead the series with 145 points, followed by Fiji on 142, New Zealand on 130 and South Africa on 121 points.
According to my calculations, Fiji already seems to have booked a place in the Olympics but should not take the last leg lightly.
However, it would be an icing on the cake if we killed two birds with one stone.
Try to win the series as well.
I would like to commend the boys for putting up a sterling performance in Singapore.
We narrowly missed grabbing the title but it happens.
Singapore is done and dusted, please focus on the mission ahead.
It was a lucky tournament for the South Africans.
They really spoiled our party last weekend.
I believe the series could still be ours so let’s move on with positive thoughts.
May I take this opportunity to wish coach Gareth Baber and the boys all the very best.
Suresh Chand, Nadi