Fiji National Competition Rocks Suva!

The crowd went wild for the Champion Team performance by the Sawakasa Rugby players at the Gymnastics Federation of Fiji National Competition last weekend.  The team became involved in gymnastics when they saw the village women participating AeroGym Fiji activities and recognised the benefits the sport could bring to their cardiovascular fitness and flexibility for rugby.  Their routine had everything; Aerobics, Dance, Acrobatics, Tumbling and plenty of energy!  To view the performance head to YouTube:

AeroGym Fiji is an Australian Government funded Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) project led by Gymnastics Australia in partnership with the Gymnastics Federation of Fiji (GFF).  The project aims to address issues facing Fijians including high levels of non-communicable diseases, low levels of physical activity and barriers to women participating in sport.  Australia High Commission in Fiji Third Secretary Mark Tamsitt is a great supporter of gymnastics in Fiji and a regular attender at events.  He presented each participant with a medal, certificates for winning teams in various categories and individual certificates for special awards such as “Most Inspirational” awarded to a young boy who didn’t let his disability stop him from participating – gymnastics is a sport for everybody, including those with one leg.    

Others competing at the event included a team from the HART Community.  Families supported by the Housing Assistance & Relief Trust are made up of mainly women and children with little regular income.  HART provides services designed to empower individuals to become resourceful and productive in order to secure a better life.  And it was inspiring to see the team from CROP (Community Recovery Outreach Program).  CROP was created six years ago as a way for Fijians who have suffered often-severe mental illness to re-integrate into the community.

Teams of club gymnasts also competed, including Acrobatic gymnasts for the first time in Fiji.  Vou Dance and gymnastics club have recently introduced the discipline and the performances were of a very good standard.  Vou aspire to compete in coming years at the Australian National Clubs Carnival – and we think they are right on track to do so!

The event was more like a party than a regular gymnastics competition, thanks to MC and GFF Sport Development Officer, Stino Selevasio, who started the 200-strong crowd off with an energetic AeroGym warm-up.  The audience got right behind each and every performance, clapping and cheering so that any nerves were quickly forgotten.  And as with any special occasion in Fiji, the evening ended with a feast shared by all.