Just over 300 people of all ages, sizes and abilities turned up today to be united by sport as the International Olympic Committee celebrates 70 years of Olympic Day.
Each year since 1948, the IOC has called upon the Olympic Movement to help promote the importance of movement and leading an active life. From nine nations in 1948 to over 150 in 2017, Olympic Day festivities have been enjoyed by six million people, playing and participating in sporting and cultural activities, such as fun runs, exhibitions, music and educational seminars.
FASANOC had invited members of the public to Move with a walk, Learn about the Olympic values and Discover new sports on Olympic Day.
Led by FASANOC Patron, His Excellency President Jioje Konrote, participants ran, walked and cycled their way from Albert Park to My Suva Park and back.
In a short address to the participants before the Run, His Excellency highlighted the importance of physical activity as a means of fighting the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases in our communities.
The IOC President, Thomas Bach, in a message read by the IOC Member in Fiji Dr Robin Mitchell, also expressed the view that “Sport is universal and that is why Olympic Day is also a moment to remember that sport should be enjoyed everywhere and by everyone: girls and boys, men and women, young and old, regardless of ability.”
This year in an effort to promote inclusivity through sports, FASANOC was happy to welcome students from the Gospel School of the Deaf, The Special School, as well as representatives from the Fiji National Council of Disabled Persons.
FASANOC was also honoured to acknowledge the presence of three-time Australian Paralympian, Carlee Beattie.
Fiji Paralympian Mere Roden said the Olympic Day was an opportunity for them to showcase their ability.
“We are also able to participant in such events despite our disabilities and it is also an opportunity for us to show our families that we can also have fun,” she said.
Gospel School of the Deaf Head Teacher Salote Babitu had earlier said that this was a great opportunity for the students to get excited and be a part of something special.
“We have a little over 20 students who board with us that took part in this worldwide event.”
“These children model their behaviour after adults in their lives so with the Olympic Values being Friendship, Excellence and Respect perhaps our students can learn a lot from those who are present,” she said.
One of the youngest participants in this year’s Run was seven-year-old Altaaf Moiz who finished with an impressive time of 36 minutes 11 seconds coming second in the Primary School Boys division.
FASANOC would like to thank its major event sponsors Fiji Gas, McDonalds and Fiji Water and its event supporters JR White, Pure Fiji, Paradise Beverages and GEM IT Solutions for their generous contributions to this successful community event.
Prizes and giveaways were also earned by children who got involved in fun activities that included artwork and fun quiz questions at the Art on the Go station.
FASANOC thanks the First Responders for their first aid service on the day and Fulton Hogan for its assistance with road management planning and equipment.
Suva Marathon were also on hand to lend their professional help which included an electronic time keeping machine for those who wanted an electronic time at the finish.
FASANOC also sincerely thanks the volunteers, Voice of the Athletes Champions, Just Play and National Sporting Federations for their support.