Talemo Waqa, Regional Training Manager for Oceania Rugby was awarded the prestigious Olympic Sports Federations of Oceania (OSFO) Merit Award for contributions to sport within Oceania at the recent OSFO General Assembly in Apia, Samoa on 14th June 2018.

Mr. Waqa was nominated by Oceania Rugby for an OSFO Merit Award for his contributions to Rugby within the Oceania Region at a Local, National and International level for the past 10 years with last 7 of those as the Regional Training Manager (RTM) for World Rugby in the Oceania Region. Mr Waqa received his award from OSFO President Mr Kevin Gosper, (father of World Rugby CEO, Mr Brett Gosper).

Prior to taking up the role of RTM Mr. Waqa was involved in the High Performance department at Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) for 3 years as the Referees Manager, National 7s and XV’s Team Manager and High Performance Manager throughout this time. Talemo has also served as the Rugby 7s technical delegate at previous Pacific Games and Pacific Mini Games.

Upon receiving the award Mr Waqa said “I would like to acknowledge and thank Oceania Rugby for nominating me for this award and also allowing me to continue to impact Rugby and Sport stakeholders through the Oceania Rugby and ONOC Agreement. I wish to thank God, personal and Rugby Family and friends for being there in this journey and future ones as we impact lives and purpose to make a difference for our athletes and entourage. Thank you OSFO for this recognition”

Talking after the General Assembly Waqa added “Receiving this award from President Gosper was an absolute honour and was made all the more enjoyable with his links to Rugby through his son World Rugby CEO Mr. Brett Gosper.”

In additional to his role with World Rugby and Oceania Rugby, Mr. Waqa is an OSEP Mentor and has been involved with other Olympic sports within the region including Volleyball, Badminton, Basketball and National Olympic Committees in an administration and training capacity. This includes delivering Oceania Sport Education Program (OSEP) and Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) courses on governance, strategic and operational planning, team management, coach and official courses. Talemo also has over 15 years’ experience as a coach and official in Athletics.

Mr. Waqa was a High School teaching career for 25 years before turning his focus to training and education in Sport. His dedication to the administration and governance of Rugby and sport within the region has been be previously recognised when he was awarded the ONOC OSEP Recognition Award at the 2017 ONOC General Assembly.

About the OSFO Merit Award:

  • A Merit Award may be granted by the OSFO Executive to a member of an affiliated Member Federation or Associate Member Federation who has rendered distinguished service to Sport in the Oceania Region for a period of at least 8 years, or to such other persons who have rendered outstanding services of benefit to the Association.
  • A Merit award is presented annually to no more than four nominees across the Oceania region.
  • 2018 recipients include Talemo Waqa (Oceania Rugby) and Gill Gemming (Oceania Hockey).
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