Fiji Athletes welcomed to Dumfries for pre-games training camp

On Wednesday 16 July Dumfries and Galloway Council welcomed athletes from the Fiji Commonwealth Games team to a Pre-Games Training Camp in Dumfries and our roving Reporter Kevin Sloan of KSSIMAGES went along to meet them all !


Kevin Said Today ” Last night Dumfries offered a warm Bula (Welcome) to the athletes who will be training at the David Keswick Centre in Dumfries ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014. It was a pleasure to be part of this many thanks to Robin Baird Dumfries and Galloway! Whats Going on ? for organizing for me to attend as media for this event.

Ronnie Nicholson and Fiji Athletics Manager - Paul Yee
Ronnie Nicholson and Fiji Athletics Manager – Paul Yee


Over seventy countries will be arriving in Scotland over the next week with most opting to go straight into the athlete’s village ahead of the competition which starts on 24 July following the Opening Ceremony. Dumfries and Galloway are one of the few regions in Scotland who have been successful in attracting some athletes from a competing nation and were delighted to welcome the athletics team from Fiji into Dumfries.

Pre-games training camps are used to acclimatise athletes to the weather and environmental conditions of the country and allow them to prepare in a stress free environment. Hosting a pre-games training camp will also allow local partners to become involved in the wider games experience and to interact on a sporting, social and cultural basis.

The national agency for sport, sportscotland, worked with Dumfries and Galloway Council to co-ordinate the arrangements for Fiji’s pre-Games training camp and through Support 2nd Team the Council have co-ordinated a significant amount of activity to encourage partnerships with other countries participating in the Games.

The Fiji athletics team that arrived includes athletes Banuve Tabakaucoro (100m & 200m), Leslie Copeland (Javelin), Eugene Vollmer (Triple Jump) and female sprinter Younis Bese (100m, 200m) and are supported by Javelin Coach, James Goulding and the Athletics Team Manager, Paul Yee.

They were welcomed to the David Keswick Athletic Centre in Dumfries by a mass of Fiji hand wavers and flags after arriving on Wednesday afternoon. They were greeted by children and coaches from Annan and District Athletics Club, Nithsdale Athletics Club and Stewartry Athletics Club, children from the local authorities Summer Startrack Athletics Scheme and also children who had received free games tickets through the Cash for Kids programme from the Summerhill Community Project.

This was followed by an enthusiastic question and answer session by the children, eager to know what it feels like to compete in a major sporting event. With funding support through the priority sports team and additional external funding, Dumfries and Galloway Council were able to purchase three new sprinter starting blocks to be used by the athletes from Fiji during their stay in Dumfries which will then be presented to local athletics clubs.

Official presentations were made by the Council Leader, Councillor Ronnie Nicholson to the athletes officially recognising their stay in Dumfries who said “We are delighted to be welcoming the athletes from Fiji here to Dumfries 1 a 1 a kevwhere they will stay and train before and during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. We are one of a handful of local authorities who have been able to attract a team on a pre-games training camp and build on the legacy that the Commonwealth Games is bringing to our country. It is fantastic that we also have the young people from our athletics clubs here tonight who can only be inspired by listening to these athletes stories and joining them in a training session on the track here in our own region. We are also delighted to say and in terms of a legacy, a set of starting blocks will be presented to Annandale and District Athletics Club, Nithsdale Athletics Club and Stewart Athletics Club after Fiji’s Pre-Games Training Camp”.

Lindsay McMahon, Regional Development Manager for Scottish Athletics who was present on the evening stated “It’s great that Dumfries and Galloway Council have been able to attract a Commonwealth Games Team to train in the area. This is a fantastic opportunity for the clubs and athletes from the region to be inspired and get this chance to meet and train alongside the Fijian Commonwealth Games athletes. It is also fantastic that the local authority is also presenting starting blocks to the three athletics clubs as part of the legacy that the Games will leave”.

Fiji Sprinter (100m & 200m) – Banuve Tabakaucoro Racing some Local Children
Fiji Sprinter (100m & 200m) – Banuve Tabakaucoro Racing some Local Children

Following official presentations the children were joined on the track by the athletics team and coaches from Fiji where they were given demonstrations in sprinting, triple jump and javelin before demonstrating their own abilities under the guidance of club coaches and there new friends from Fiji.

Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson added “We are sure the athletes and coaches from Fiji will get a warm welcome in Dumfries and Galloway and enjoy their stay in southern Scotland and I am sure the children from our local clubs will be looking out for them when they compete at the games”.

You can see the full album of photos taken by kevin at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.554157721362528.1073741977.181309905313980&type=1


Picture Credits to Kevin sloan of KSSIMAGES , Info From D&G Council


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