FIBSA November update
09/01/2021 2 Minute Read

FIBSA November update

An update on the activities undertaken by the Fiji Islands Baseball and Softball Association (FIBSA) in November 2020.

Marist Champania Institute Program 

FIBSA ran a three weeks introductory program for students and teachers at a vocational school in Suva, Marist Champania, during the third term of school. The clinics were conducted every Tuesday and Thursday with two sessions; a morning and afternoon. The program was a success as students managed to compete amongst themselves on the last day of the program in both softball and baseball modified games. There were a total number of 40 students that took part in the clinics. 

A similar program will be conducted at primary schools during the first school term in 2021. Ten schools have been identified around the Eastern Division for 2021, and clinics will be conducted during the schools respective physical education classes during the week. The age groups that will be targeted are Classes 6, 7 and 8 in primary schools, and Forms 3, 4 and 5 in secondary schools. The program will conclude in a tournament, where each participating school will have one team in each grade. In total we are looking at 30 teams and approximately 300 youths participating in this four-week competition come 2021. The rules of the games will be modified to suite each age group.

Official online handover of donated baseball / softball equipment from Fukui, Japan 

The Fiji Islands Baseball and Softball Association (FIBSA) recently received donated baseball and softball equipment from Japan through our Fiji Baseball Coach, Takahiro Nishio. Coach Taka's hometown collected this equipment from people of Fukui.

Mr Nishio became a baseball instructor of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) team in October 2018, and after working in Sri Lanka, he was assigned to work in Fiji from September 2019. He mainly coached children and young people, and also served as a coach for the national team in the.

Fiji does not have a shop that sells baseball equipment and relies on support from Japan, the United States and Australia. However, there is a chronic shortage, and children often use wooden sticks and pebbles as bats and balls. Mr Nishio has solicited a wide range of baseball equipment from the citizens of Fukui since November last year through a support group. By September of 2020, a total of about 600 items such as grabs, bats, balls, and uniforms had been sent. The equipment can be used not only in the suburbs of the Suva, but also in rural areas including remote islands, to promote baseball. 

Mr Nishio himself returned to Japan in March due to a temporary evacuation thanks to the spread of coronavirus. He continued to coach the national team online and ended his term in October. At the delivery ceremony in mid-November, executives of the Fiji Baseball and Softball Association hoped that exchanges with Mr Nishio and Fukui would continue. 

Mr Nishio said; "I didn't think that so many supplies would be gathered, and I am really grateful. It was a step toward popularisation [of the sport] in Fiji."

The FIBSA would like to thank Fukui and Coach Taka for their kind donations, which will contribute towards the development of both baseball and softball in Fiji. 

Baseball clinic held in conjunction with Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation 

FIBSA was fortunate to be invited to conduct baseball clinics for children and youths in a community outside of Suva to help advocate for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. 

The Ministry of Children says the increases of cases of abuse and neglect were due to a number of factors; including high population, numerous informal settlements due to COVID-19 unemployment, greater awareness and also more reporting.

A Family Fun Day for residents in Nasinu was organised at the Valelevu Grounds to create awareness for the cause. It was organised by the Fiji National Coordinating Committee on Children with the theme; “Stronger Families, Safe Children". 

The purpose of the Family Fun Day was to provide parents and community leaders information on where to access help in raising children. Different activities were organised for children at the Family Fun Day, which included presentations on child abuse and neglect, fire safety, sports clinics like volleyball, baseball and table tennis, and also proper hand washing practices.