The Permanent Secretary for Education, Heritage and Arts, Dr. Anjeela Jokhan officiated the opening of the 45th Digicel/ RAMs Cleaning Fiji Primary Schools’ Under 14 IDC competition at Garvey Park yesterday.

 Dr Jokhan addressed the 20 affiliated district teams participating in this competition who have trained hard not just to win but also to take home with them the many lessons that come with being sportsmen and sportswomen. She informed the participants that sports opens doors to many career opportunities without restricting or limiting students to traditional jobs or academic achievements.

Due to the unfortunate circumstances of the pandemic, the competition was last held in 2019 and Rewa District was crowned victors.  

She also stressed that sports is an important aspect of every person’s life and helps in improving our health as well as teaches us   good qualities such as hard work, patience, respect, team-work and discipline both on and off field.

She further added “Every school should also make sure that their students attain these mentioned skills by participating in extra-curricular activities throughout the year. And as adults, we should not just dwell on   winning.    Instead we should encourage students to participate more in gaining experience and attaining a better sense of sportsperson spirit to become a role model  for others.”

The government has invested more than $77milion into sports over the past decade. This included building and upgrading of parks, sending our athletes around the world to compete and also invested in world – class coaching talent.

“The foundation of every sport is discipline, respect and teamwork. It is all about making wise choices and of course fighting peer pressure which is present in all areas of life whether it be a classroom or sporting arena,” the Permanent Secretary said in her address.

 “I want to emphasise the importance of having discipline not just on field but off-field and in every aspect of your lives as well so that you can take the lessons learnt in any sporting arena back into the community and become a patriotic and law abiding citizen. Imagine if everyone does this, the crime rate in our beloved nation will gradually decrease, making everyone safe,” she stated.

Finally she wished all the teams and their officials a safe and enjoyable competition.