NewsEmpowering Pacific Island Nations through Sports: The PacificAus Sports Program

October 17, 2023by Mitieli Baleiwai

The FijiAus Quad Series was a successful campaign for the Fiji Pearls squad as they prepare for the upcoming Pacific Games.

The Quad Series served as a valuable preparatory platform, enabling the extended Fiji Pearls squad to engage in high-level matches against top Australian teams, some of whose players participate in the prestigious Suncorp Super Netball Series.

The series was made possible with the support of PacificaAus Sports and Netball Australia providing quality game time for the Fiji Pearls.

The South Coast Blaze and Sunshine Coast Thunder also got the opportunity to travel to Fiji and immerse themselves with local culture, train with local teams and attended various netball clinics at primary schools around Suva.

Sunshine Coast Thunder’s Head Coach, Simone Nalatu, lauded the PacificAus Sport initiative as an effective program backed by the Australian Government and supported by Netball Australia.

“The PacificAus Sports is a fantastic initiative by Australian Government with the support of Netball Australia, it provides opportunities for the Fijian athletes to experience high performance environment, giving them the opportunity to see and learn how Australian teams play,’ said Nalatu.

“To have teams come to Fiji to play in their home environment is fantastic and I’m sure the Fiji Pearls will benefit from that experience,” she added.

“Its fantastic for Australian teams to come to Fiji and to enjoy the way Fijian team train, to see the resources they have compared to teams back in Australia, for our Sunshine Coast Thunder team, it has really humbled them and made them really grateful.”

Marji Parr, Head Coach of the South Coast Blaze, is optimistic about the program’s long-term impact on sports development in the Pacific island countries.

She emphasised the importance of Fijian athletes benefiting from the opportunities presented by PacificAus Sport, which exposes them to high performance and allows them to understand performance within a unique environment.

“I think its so important to our South Pacific Community in particular to Fiji to benefit from this opportunity PacificAus Sport provides these athletes because it allows them to get further exposure, a different style of play and to understand performance in a different environment and atmosphere to what they know here in Fiji,” said Parr.

“The program can only help them in strengthening what their learnings are year by year when they’re growing through their seasons and campaigns for their next World Cup Selection,” added Parr.

Parr is hopeful that the program will not only add depth to the Fiji squad but also establish a pathway for future athletes to follow.



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