FIBSA March upate
10/05/2021 2 Minute Read

FIBSA March upate

An update on the activities undertaken by the Fiji Islands Baseball and Softball Association (FIBSA) in March 2021.

Fiji National Sports Commission – Sports Conference 

The Fiji Islands Baseball and Softball Association (FIBSA) participated at the recent Fiji Sports Conference in Suva, Fiji. The conference highlighted sports participation across Fiji over the next 12 months, funding, using sports as a tool to create awareness about social issues, and the Fiji National Sports Policy action plan. 

The Government will ensure that the grant submissions requested by sporting organisations are based on needs and not on wants. The Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary said this while officiating at the opening of the day two of the 2021 National Sports Conference. This year the Government’s intentions have been made very clear, as they want to make sure whatever grant submissions requested is based on the needs and not a want of respective sports federations. 

The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre presented a report on physical, emotional and sexual violence, which revealed that 72 per cent of Fijian women experience one or more types of violence in their lifetime from their husbands or intimate partners. The survey also highlighted that violence against women sky rocketed during this COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs Vuniwaqa from the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre encouraged greater female participation and leadership across the board, but especially in sports which are traditionally male-dominated — like rugby — to help transform harmful gender norms, challenge restrictive gender roles, and promote the empowerment of women. 

FIBSA is now tasked for the next 12 months to increase the participation of women and girls' in all of our activities, from administration to athlete participation on the field. 

Community Program & Little League 

In March FIBSA continued the community-based skills program progression. The registered number of children for the program has been encouraging, which has led to the formation of teams for Little League games. There are now teams in Under 11 and Under 13 age groups for games on Saturdays, with a total number of 48 children constantly attending the weekday trainings. Trainings are conducted on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the respective community clubs from 4 to 5.30pm. Organised games are held every Saturday for the two communities at Albert Park from 9 to 11am. With the increase of younger players between the ages 6 to 10 years, we are now looking at including another age category in our development programs. 

Fiji v Japan Expats 

This year, as the Fiji Baseball squad is building towards the 2022 Saipan Pacific Mini Games, development players are getting stronger, thanks to opportunities such as getting to compete against the Japanese Expatriates team in Fiji. For the first game between the Fiji Development team and Japan Expats, the focus was giving our Under 15 players game time. The young players were very excited about this opportunity and the weather was perfect on the Saturday, despite rain on Friday night. We had to inspect the grounds early Saturday morning and pick the best dry place in Albert Park for the game. 

There was good attendance by both sides; a few were late as we continue to try to instil values to our players about time, attitude and respect, as these are character traits that need to be enforced in the National Team and our subsequent programs so we can continue on developing a good baseball and softball culture in Fiji. However, in better news, the Under 12 national representatives from Taiwan and other were the core players that were at the ground on time. 

The Japan Expats started the game well, leading the first three innings with three runs to one, whilst the Fiji Development side worked their way slowly through each innings. The Under 12 Taiwan players lead the way for the Fiji side, teaching the newer players to the game about composure under pressure, especially whilst batting. The Fiji Development side came close to a win, but - as expected - with no Under 18 players in the team, the Japan Expats won nine runs to five.

The Challenge Trophy will now rest at the Japanese Embassy in Suva for the first quarter of the year until the next game in June. The goal this year is to have a four-game series.