Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations and Youth Sports Honourable Alipate Nagata urged football players to stay away from using drugs in sports.

Speaking while opening the Vodafone Futsal Inter-District at National Hockey Center on Friday Naqata highlighted to the players of the importance of staying away for performance enhancing substances in sports.

“We are all aware of the impact of this dilemma in sports not only in our country but the world over and there is indeed a need to for this problem to be fully understood.”

“Recently in the news we have heard of the allegations against Fijian footballers allegedly involving the use of Marijuana. I understand the FFA are exploring avenues for testing facilities where random players will be tested not only for Marijuana but other performance enhancing drug,”said Nagata.

He said government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports had taken a step forward in the National Anti-Doping Policy which was, if passed, will be the first in the pacific region.

“The Ministry’s plan does not rest only on the Policy itself but has its sight on having a National Anti-Doping Bill which will assist in the Establishment of Fiji’s own National Anti-Doping Organisation and again this will be a first for a Pacific Island Nation.”

“As big brothers in the Pacific Region, we have to show our fellow Pacific Islanders on the Best practices in sports and creating a clean sporting environment in the Pacific.

“On that note I wish to share with you all the importance of good governance in sports. Good governance in sports is a foundation for building sports excellence in any country,”said Nagata.

Nagata added that Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, promotes values and social cohesion through national sports development.

“Sporting tournament helps bring about a healthy, vibrant and physically active nation and promote health and wellness through partnership- based programs.”

“I see a lot of rising stars sitting here and I encourage you to keep on striving for the best.

“Remember ‘Practice does not make perfect’. If the old saying were true, there’d be thousands of perfect football stars out there.

“It’s “deliberate practice” that allows you to steadily progress with whatever skills you’re looking to improve. “Deliberate practice” is one of the key differences between the most successful sports persons and the average ones. You have gone past that and are deliberately prepared now for the FUTSAL Inter District Competition.

“Government regards Sports as a multi tool; it is a career; it keep you fit; it brings us teamwork; discipline; integrity; leadership; will to win; make a healthy nations; and keep you away from Non Communicable Diseases [NCD’s].

“I am pleased that FUTSAL football in the nation has been making steadfast progress and I sincerely acknowledge the efforts of the Fiji Football Association in the promotion and creating awareness on the sport.”

He encouraged all to behave in a way which brings pride to Fiji Football; be humble in both victory and defeat.

As Nelson Mandela said: “Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell and got back up again”.

“Each time you get up again, analyse and apply the lessons learned to your preparation so that you improve and continue to challenge your fellow athletes.” “Remember to play fair and to play true.  Taking prohibited substances is not only cheating but is bad for your health.  We respect the loser who lost on his or her merits more than an athlete who won

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