Rio Olympic Games

Two celebrations for 7s Gold medal win

The Fijian Government has confirmed that there will be two celebrations for the Sevens Olympic Gold Medal win. Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the first celebration and a welcome ceremony will take place at Prince Charles Park in Nadi after the team arrives in Fiji this Sunday. SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We will have […]

Serelisoni Moceica

August 18, 2016 12:38 pm

The Fijian Government has confirmed that there will be two celebrations for the Sevens Olympic Gold Medal win.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at a press conference this morning. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at a press conference this morning. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the first celebration and a welcome ceremony will take place at Prince Charles Park in Nadi after the team arrives in Fiji this Sunday.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We will have an interfaith thanksgiving session, to thank of course everybody and the Almighty for the success we’ve had and then the team will depart approximately at 4:30 to 4 o’clock from Nadi’s Prince Charles Park through the Nadi back road and then they will come to the airport and the team will then board the Fiji Link flight to come to Nausori on Sunday evening.”

The programme for the Nadi event is as follows:

  • Buses will transport the boys straight after arriving at the airport at 4:45 pm. Families of the boys will also have their time with the team.
  • From the airport, the entourage will travel along Votualevu roundabout and a slow drive through Namaka right up to the town through Namotomoto. The buses will then travel through the back of the town beside the bridge until they reach Prince Charles Park.
  • At the park, a traditional ceremony will be carried out by the people of Sabeto. The Olympic Chef de Mission Cathy Wong is expected to deliver a thanksgiving speech and the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama will also make a few remarks. An Interfaith session is also scheduled and the boys and the other athletes will avail themselves to mingle with the public after the formalities.
  • The boys will then be airlifted from Nadi to Nausori and a slow entourage will bring them through Kings Road to the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. Other athletes will travel via Sawani Road to the FASANOC office.

Upon their arrival in Suva, bands such as Corrections Jazz band, National Youth Band, Chinese Youth Band, and Rishikul Dance Group will provide entertainment for the night as the team arrives at GPH where they will await the next morning’s celebrations.

On Monday morning, gates will be opened at 8:30am at the ANZ National Stadium.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We will be having various bands, in Nadi for example we will be having three school bands, the Sangam High School band, Saint Thomas Band, and the Natabua High School Band who will be performing.”

The programme for the day is as follows:

  • The team leaves the GPH in a convoy and a march will be held from the Flea Market through Victoria Parade, Thurston Street, McGregor Road, Bau Street and Laucala Bay Road until it reaches the stadium.
  • The boys will then presume to walk around the track accompanied by the RFMF band, They will then join the President Jioji Konrote with the First Lady on stage where a thanksgiving service will be held. A traditional welcoming ceremony will then be performed by the Vanua-i-Rara of Nakelo.
  • The PM is then expected to deliver a speech and time will also be given to coach Ben Ryan and captain Osea Kolinisau.
  • The sevens team players will be garlanded by the winning Ballantine Memorial Rugby girls team and the President will honour them with medals.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “The President will be presenting to them the various medals and that will be given by the state in recognition of the superb performance of the Coach Ben Ryan and of course the winning team.”

Meanwhile, the Fiji men’s sevens team will receive $510,000 from the Fijian Government during the celebrations.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said each player including the four officials would each get $30,000 for their personal use.

FREE TRANSPORTATION TO THE TWO EVENTS

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said talks were also being made with regards to free transportation for the two events.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We’ve just spoken to the Fiji Buses Operators Association and we hope to in collaboration with them also provide buses. So we hope to for example provide buses for Sigatoka, Ba and various other parts for people to be brought over to Nadi’s Prince Charles Park and of course for people who want to go to Suva, there will be some arrangements made for that too and then on Monday we’ll also be providing transportation for areas outside of Suva.”

Family members, along with wives will be given special seating at the celebrations and members of the public are encouraged to line up on the roads along the routes to show their appreciation for our Olympians.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “People from Korovou for example Tailevu and Naitasiri and of course again from the western division and those announcements with regards to the arrangement of buses will be made in the next couple of days by Friday or Saturday. That transportation for members of the public who want to go to the events will be for free”

The government has also requested that members of the public coming to the two events wear blue for the celebrations.

Team Fiji men’s 7s team will receive $30,000 as promised by the Fijian Government.

Acting PM & Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum cheering for Fiji during the game earlier this morning. (Fijian Government)
Acting PM & Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum cheering for Fiji during the game earlier this morning. (Fijian Government)

This was confirmed by the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

In a press conference this afternoon, AG in consultation with the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama announced that a public holiday will take place on the 22nd August 2016 – Monday following Fiji’s 7s win today at Rio 2016.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “As you all know, well the Government has already announced, we had already said as allocated in the National Budget that any individual or team that wins the gold will get thirty thousand dollars, silver is twenty thousand and bronze is ten thousand dollars.”

“In so many respects it is a wonderful achievement, we were the least populated country that participated. Probably the least resourced country yet we won the gold medal. Of course the reality is that rugby is a national sports of ours and everybody enjoys it right from somebody selling peanuts in the street to people working in offices, people out in towns, catching fish, everybody is glued to the radio or to the television sets, it’s  a wonderful occasion, it’s a wonderful achievement.”

A committee has been formed that will be organising the national celebration.

The committee consists of:

  • The Prime Minister’s Office
  • Fiji Rugby Union (FRU)
  • Ministry of Youth and Sports.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “Interestingly enough we’ve had a couple of business houses saying that they wish to contribute to the celebration process so once their people have organised it they can  get in touch with the committee that will be responsible for the celebrations.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced a day of public holiday to celebrate the Fiji 7s team’s gold medal win at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil this morning.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with the members of Team Fiji's men's 7s team and Coach Ben Ryan. (Reuters)
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with the members of Team Fiji’s men’s 7s team and Coach Ben Ryan. (Reuters)

Reuters reports that Mr Bainimarama told reporters after Fiji’s 43-7 win over Great Britain in the gold medal final that there would be at least one more day of public holiday after three this week.

BAINIMARAMA: “They’re all celebrating (back home), they’ve been celebrating for the last three days. We’ve got celebrations programmed for when (the team) return … We are all proud to be Fijians right now.”

Bainimarama said the inclusion of rugby in the Olympics this year for the first time since 1924 had “propped up” smaller nations like Fiji.

He also hinted there would be rewards for the 7s players and coach Ben Ryan.

BAINIMARAMA: “Our productivity has been nil in the last couple of days, but hopefully the GDP will go in up in the next couple of weeks.”

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