Battle for top spot

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu | Thursday, April 20, 2017
The Coca-Cola Games kicks off today. The torch relay courtesy of the sponsors added the much needed flavour and excitement to the Games. Facebook was flooded with pictures of students, athletes and teachers holding the torch. This spiced masala to the biggest athletics meet in the South Pacific, spread over three days. Every year fans witness an increase in competition and rivalry. Apart from schools spending dollars in preparing and sending their athletes to Suva, old scholars fork out money for T-shirts, banners and flags and show their support in cash and kind. That's the beauty about the spirit of the Games. It brings out the best from the athletes, cheerleaders and spectators.
Gau Secondary School athletes at the ANZ Stadium in Laucala Bay, Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU
Gau Secondary School athletes at the ANZ Stadium in Laucala Bay, Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Early this week athletes have been arriving from the North and outer islands. For the athletes the trip to Suva would be an eye-opener and enterprising one. I am sure that many of these athletes would take back with them fond memories, rich experiences and medals. Their focus would definitely be to make newspaper headlines and make their loved ones proud. Camping for many would be a lot of fun with the stories to share from the day's event. Reading the newspaper this week I marvelled at the amount of time and effort spent on preparations and I hope that the many yards spent would pay dividends for the thousands of dedicated athletes converging in the Capital City until Saturday.

We have a role to play in ensuring a safe and eventful Coca-

Cola Games. As elders it is important to cheer and not to pass comments that could incite anger, resulting in scuffles. It is imperative to teach our children to control their emotions and respect each other on and off the field. While more attention would be on the tracks, let's not forget to support those who would be taking part in the field events. As defending champions Jasper and Marist will face stiff competition from their rivals. Only time will tell if the girls from the "inspiring West" and the "red brigade" would defend their titles. My best wishes to the athletes, officials, sponsors and spectators for the Coke Games!

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