“Being given the opportunity to study in the United States of America will allow me the chance to challenge myself not only academically but also on the track” said Team Fiji athlete Elenani Tinai.
Elenani was awarded an Oceania Australia Foundation Scholarship to study and train in the USA while ,Miriama Senokonoko was offered a full scholarship by a US college.
Elenani will be studying at the Southwestern Community College in Iowa, USA and joins Albert Miller who left earlier this year.
Other athletes that have been to Southwestern Community College include Sisilia Seavula and Younis Bese.
“I count myself lucky to be awarded this scholarship,” said Elenani.
“This means I can not only improve with my times because of competition but I can also concentrate on my studies.”
Elenani said she was grateful to her family, coaches, Athletics Fiji, FASANOC, ONOC and the Oceania Australia Foundation for their support in her athletics and academic career.
“Now I just have to prove that I deserve this scholarship,” she said.
Meanwhile fellow team mate MiriamaSenokonoko has secured a full scholarship offered directly to her from Limtestone College in South Carolina, USA.
Miriama is also receiving some assistance from the Oceania Australia Foundation.
Miriama was fortunate to be returning for further studies in the USA after graduating from the New Mexico Military Institute in 2015.
“I’m very lucky to get another chance to continue my studies and for that I am grateful,” she said.
“The first time I went it was easy to settle in because Ana Kaloucava (Team Fiji Volleyball) was already there,” Miriama said.
FASANOC Chief Executive Lorraine Mar said it was important for both athletes to do well not only in athletics but also academically.
“The academic side is just as important as your athletics because should you not do well academically this could mean you will not be allowed to participate in sports,” she said.
Both girls were advised that the scholarship was as much about education as it was about athletics and they were encouraged to give both equal attention.
The girls were also encouraged to keep in contact with Athletics Fiji with reports on their participation in competitions and their results, as they should be vying for selection for the 2019 Pacific Games which were being in July, which is the summer break in the United States.
Elenani and Miriama flew out of the country on Wednesday 15th August, 2018 to commence their studies at their respective colleges.