Rio Olympic Games

Rabuka wants 7s players rewarded with medals, houses, cash, passports, and free education

Fully furnished houses and land and tax-free cash grants of $50,000 each are some of the rewards that SODELPA Leader Major-General (retired) Sitiveni Rabuka believes should be awarded to members of Team Fiji’s winning 7s team. In a statement, Mr Rabuka said the sacrifices of Ben Ryan and his boys warranted the utmost acknowledgement of […]

Serelisoni Moceica

August 17, 2016 3:48 pm

Fully furnished houses and land and tax-free cash grants of $50,000 each are some of the rewards that SODELPA Leader Major-General (retired) Sitiveni Rabuka believes should be awarded to members of Team Fiji’s winning 7s team.

Former Army Commander and Prime Minister of Fiji Major General (retired) Sitiveni Rabuka. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)
SODELPA Leader Major General (retired) Sitiveni Rabuka. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)

In a statement, Mr Rabuka said the sacrifices of Ben Ryan and his boys warranted the utmost acknowledgement of the government and the country as a whole.

RABUKA: “The Team were sterling Ambassadors for Fiji and their sportsmanship, the flawless performance and their humility and chivalrous display of respect for the Princess Royal, Princess Anne as she presented their gold medals won the respect and admiration of the whole world.”

The party also believed that the unprecedented global attention from the team’s win benefited the economy with increased investment, he believes, totaling up to at least $500 million.

RABUKA: “I would like to add on to the Leader of Opposition’s proposal for recognizing the Members of the Inaugural Olympics Sevens Team.”

He also thanked the Government for announcing a national day of celebration. He called for a substantial financial reward to each individual member of the Sevens Olympic team, including its Head Coach and management.

Mr Rabuka also acknowledged the people behind the scenes who tirelessly rallied support for our inaugural Olympic sevens team.

Rabuka has suggested the following for the sevens team:

1. Fully furnished House and Land, Tax-Free Cash grant of $50k

  • That every 7s player should be given a fully furnished house and land
  • That each individual team member be gifted with tax-free cash grant of $50,000.

2. Handsome contract for Ben Ryan and Diplomatic Passport

  • Ben Ryan be invited to renew his contract as coach for Fiji with a handsome reward with a fully loaded Toyota 4 Wheel Drive plus the offer of citizenship and a diplomatic passport, as well as a tax-free cash grant of $80,000.

3. Official Passport for Life for the Team members

  • All individual members of the 7s team, Assistant Coach, Manager to be offered a passport for life (or a Fiji passport that is renewed every ten years free of charge)

4. That the team be accorded National Honors

  • Ben Ryan to be honored with a Companion of Order Fiji (CF)
  • Osea Kolinisau to be honored with Officer of the Order of Fiji (OF)
  • The Vice Captain, Jasa Veremalua to be given the Member of the Order of Fiji (MF)
  • And the rest of the team players to honored with the Medal of the Order of Fiji (MOF)

5. A commemorative coin be designed and issued to celebrate the Olympic Gold medal win

  • Similar to Gold Paralympian Iliesa Delana, that the Fiji 7s Team achievement of a gold medal at the Rio Olympics be commemorated with a commemorative coin.

6. Fee-Free Tertiary Education

  • In addition, Team Captain Osea Kolinisau is to be offered fee­free tuition to complete his University education and a secured job with the Ministry of Youths and Sports.
  • All team members to be offered tuition-free TVET paths to become rugby 7s coaches or other courses of choice.

7. Increased Budget allocation for Fiji Rugby 7s Team

  • All national 7s players to be on contract of $30,000 p.a
  • Budget allocation for competitive contract for head coach, assistant coach and team manager.

Meanwhile, Rabuka said that previous governments also recognized the achievements of our sporting heroes:

  • Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, as PM had gifted the Fiji Sevens Team that won the Hong Kong Sevens after 1987, $5000 each.
  • Both the SVT Government in 1997 when Fiji won the first 7s World Cup and the SDL Government in 2005 awarded cash gifts to the victorious sevens team for winning the Melrose Cup.
  • In 2012 the Government rewarded Gold medallist Iliesa Delana (current Assistant Sports Minister) a fully furnished home and land and his achievement was celebrated with a commemorative fifty cent coin.
  • Sevens Maestro Waisale Serevi was awarded the Order of Fiji Medal
  • Top international golfer Vijay Singh was also awarded the Order of Fiji Medal.

Rabuka also offered to work with Government on the celebration planned for 22nd August and on the design of the reward package for the team.

RABUKA: “The Medal Presentation Ceremony gave Fiji as a proud nation a grand demonstration that we love our national flag, the “Noble Banner Blue” which has cemented its position among the flags of the world and embodies our history, our self and now, our future.”

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