The Fiji National University (FNU) aims to go beyond the traditional mission of knowledge creation and research, by taking a national leadership role in addressing the nation’s policy priorities.
FNU Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey while speaking at the construction contract signing of the multi-million dollar Sports Complex said the university can play a lead role in assisting with tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The state-of-the-art eight million dollar Complex will consist of cardio training, rehab, cross-fit and weightlifting, circuit machine stations and indoor running for testing and fitness.
“This new sports complex is intended to provide a vehicle for FNU to take a national leadership role, by changing the behavior of our staff and students and building recreational exercise into our daily lives,” said VC Healey.
“NCDs are one of the biggest challenges facing Fiji and the wider Pacific. Obesity leads to hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. We have made tackling NCDs one of our central research themes.”
“Bringing down the rates of obesity is a challenge to which all of our colleges can contribute – for example, by researching new and better treatments for hypertension and diabetes in our medical college, finding better ways to enable teachers to change children’s eating behavior in our education college, looking for new healthier food crops in our agricultural college, or finding ways to change people’s behavior through taxation in our business college,” added Professor Healey.
“There are objectives of the sports facility, first to provide students with modern equipment and facilities to support learning and fully prepare them for a successful career in their chosen fields and second is to provide staff and students with equipment and facilities to support their health and wellness,” he said.
“The University provides programmes such as Exercise Prescription, Health and Awareness, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Performance Testing, Analysis and Feedback and the new facility will play an important role for student practicals.”
“The new sports complex will be a fabulous facility for staff and students, a venue for organised sports events for teams in the central division and an iconic landmark building. But we also intend that it stands as a concrete expression of the University’s commitment to being pushing back against the pandemic of NCDs in Fiji and Pacific, by changing people’s behavior and improving their quality of life,” commented VC Healey.
The construction of the Sports Complex is expected to take 11 months to complete. The project is designed by Conway Architects and will be constructed by Fortech Construction Limited.
Fortech Construction Director Umendra Kumar said they are pleased to partner with FNU on this landmark project.
“We started with ground work two weeks ago and we are looking forward to complete this project by December,” said Kumar.
The company has previously worked with FNU on various projects.