02:48PM, Tue 23 December 2008
Well what a year it has been! Beijing came and went in a flash and life goes on. Back to the drawing board again for another four year tilt at the Olympic Games, our next target being London 2012. And what opportunities lie in store for the Pacific. The signing up with the North West of England holds much promise for us. We have in effect secured a home and by signing up as 15 countries, the benefits to us individually will be magnified as our bargaining power is magnified beyond the simple x 15 formulae. But like everything else we have to grab this opportunity by the horns and run with it. At ONOC, it has become clear to us that until we address some serious flaws in our collective sporting infrastructures, we shall remain on the sporting treadmill, running hard but getting nowhere. For this reason, OSEP, the Oceania Sport Education Program will become our lead program for the next Olympiad as we attempt to put into place in each Country, at least a basic sport education program aimed at coaching and administration. With this in place, our athletes and coaches will have a solid platform from which to grab hold of important opportunities in sport that will benefit the overall development of our respective nations while creating the environment that is necessary for breeding successful sport performances. People marvel at the gifted athleticism of Pacific Islanders in sport. This is being demonstrated in the rugby codes in particular, but this is only the tip of the Ice Berg. Unfortunately bringing this potential to the fore can be as difficult as moving an Ice Berg. 2005 - 2008 is now history. We need to look ahead and set our sights squarely on London and beyond. In particular, we must shed our blinkers and look beyond the reef at the realities of life and sport in general. We can do well but not without commitment and an understanding of what it takes to climb to the top in any endeavour. Let us all enjoy this Christmas and look forward to 2009 with vigour and determination as we build ourselves to rise above our station in the world of sport.