FASANOC's Voices of the Athletes programme visited a number of school events ©FASANOC

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee's (FASANOC) Voices of the Athletes (VOA) programme reached out to just under 900 students after visiting a number of school sporting events. 

With a focus on non-communicable diseases, the programme visited the National Secondary School Hockey competition in Lautoka, alongside the Fiji Badminton Secondary School Championships and the Fiji Secondary School Basketball Championship in Suva.

It was estimated that around 900 students visited the VOA booth at the events, with a number of teachers and supporters also getting involved.  

"Our main focus was non-communicable diseases and how it affects students and those around them," said VOA programme officer Matelita Vuakoso.

"It is also not something new and is being taught in all schools nowadays.

"While our main focus was non-communicable diseases, we also stressed on the importance of anti-doping and how athletes should be aware of the dangers of drugs in sports.

"This was also an opportunity for young aspiring athletes to hear from role models who have represented the country."

Around 900 students were estimated to have visited the VOA booth over three events ©FASANOC
Around 900 students were estimated to have visited the VOA booth over three events ©FASANOC

Another message stressed to students, though the programme's "Go Green" initiative, was the importance of a clean environment.

"Our 'Go Green' awareness initiative reaffirms FASANOC's VOA stand on the four R's which is refuse, reuse, reduce and recycle, as well as its stance on plastics," said Vuakoso.

"It is a positive sign having students tell us about what they were doing with the 4 'R's because we have been a part of these championships in the past few years and we have spoken about these issues before."

The VOA programme is funded by grants from the International Olympic Committee and the Oceania National Olympic Committees and received a 2018 IOC Olympism in Action trophy in January.