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THE HONOURABLE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, PRODUCTIVITY AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND YOUTH AND SPORTS
PRAVEEN BALA

Address at the 2019 Pacific Games Lottery Launch on 14 December 2018 at 6:00 p.m

Invited guests
Our Corporate Community,
The Executive Board of FASANOC,
Government officials,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
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Bula vinaka, Namaste, Salaam Aleikum and Good Evening to you all.

At the outset, please allow me to thank the management of ASCO Motors and the Executive Board of FASANOC for hosting this event once again.

It is indeed a pleasure to be here this evening to officiate in the launch of the 2019 Pacific Games Lottery, an occasion that allows our sportsmen and women to participate in athletic meets all over the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the FASANOC Lottery is a major self-help fundraising effort for Team Fiji to the 2019 Pacific Games to held in Samoa from 8 – 20 July next year.

I am told FASANOC mounts this lottery project on behalf of the National Federations and between 50-60% of the lottery proceeds is returned to the sports as commission on sale of tickets. This in turn will assist the 27 National Federations taking part in the Pacific Games fundraise for their team levies.

Sport in Fiji is growing by the day and our fame on the sports field reaches far and wide. We are recognised for our sporting excellence and Team Fiji has begun its campaign towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Over the next two years, Team Fiji will be attending the:

• 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa
• 2019 ANOC Beach Games in San Diego, United States
And the;
• 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Government on its part has committed $800,000.00 in our National Budget towards the preparation of the team and this compliments the Fiji National Sports Commissions funding to the National Federations.

This is a true reflection of the commitment of the Government to develop sports in the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Sport is not just a simple game, it is much more than that. It symbolises a dream to an individual, and to a team. Sport signifies renewal, as well as change. It brings people together as athletes and spectators; it promotes nation building, encourages life-long participation in physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for all.

Sports play an important role in our country. It provides young people with the right skills, mindsets and values such as honesty, teamwork, fair play, respect, adherence to rules, discipline, perseverance, resilience and a strong sense of purpose.

These community sport networks, when inclusive, are an important source of social networking, helping to combat exclusion and fostering community capacity to work collectively to realize opportunities and address challenges.

Programs that reflect the best values of sport — fair play, teamwork, cooperation, respect for opponents, and inclusion — reinforce this process by helping participants to acquire values and life skills consistent with positive social relationships, collaborative action, and mutual support.

This is why I must thank all who are present here tonight for choosing to support Team Fiji and contributing to the progress of our sports men and women.

Ladies and gentlemen, this evening offers us a rare opportunity to mingle; it offers a chance to get to know your colleagues in the corporate sector and the sporting community.

It also gives us a rare glimpse into the efforts of our sporting bodies to raise funds to enable their preparation and participation in sports meets.

On that note I would like to extend an invitation to our corporate houses to participate and donate for this worthy cause.

Let us all become part of the sporting community and support Team Fiji reaching newer heights.

Our support as stakeholders, corporate sponsors and as a nation will do more than prepare our team for the 2019 Pacific Games.

I am optimistic that it will drive our athletes and Team Fiji to greater heights opening doors to other sporting opportunities.

Ladies and gentlemen, at this juncture, I wish to commend the generous sponsorships both in cash and kind of the business community over the years which has enable our participation in regional and world meets.

Before I conclude, I on behalf of FASANOC again invite our corporate sector to show supports support Team Fiji through the Team Fiji Champions Program. Corporate organizations can become a Team Fiji Champion by donating towards Team Fiji’s preparation for the Pacific Games.

Ladies and gentlemen, it now gives me much pleasure in launching the 2019 Pacific Games Lottery.

Sa Vinaka vakalevu.

-ENDS-