5 AUGUST (ONOC MEDIA) - Dr Robin Mitchell, Vice-Patron and Life Member of the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) was presented with the FASANOC 70th Anniversary “Award for Sporting Excellence” at a commemorative dinner held in Fiji’s capital last Saturday.
FASANOC having formed in 1949 (initially as the Fiji Amateur Sports Association – FASA) celebrated their 70th Anniversary in 2019. FASA then became a member of the IOC in 1955 which resulted in the inclusion of the acronym NOC or National Olympic Committee.
The commemorative event held, at the Holiday Inn, followed FASANOC’s Annual General Assembly (AGA), that was initially scheduled for April this year.
“To mark our 70th Anniversary, FASANOC invited nominations for a new “Excellence in Sports Award,” FASANOC President Makarita Lenoa mentioned to the invited guests.
Lenoa said the Award recognises individuals who have made significant contributions at the highest level to FASANOC, as well as the development and promotion of Sport and Olympism in Fiji.
“The nominations received were judged by an Independent Judging Panel which included the then Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, Mr Maritino Nemani, Ms Jenny Seeto and Ms Melissa Palombi,” Lenoa explained.
“The Panel selected Dr Robin Mitchell for having not only met the criteria but exceeded it in his service to sports in Fiji and the world,” she announced.
She said Dr Mitchell’s outstanding achievements include (a) Member of FASANOC Executive Board since 1985 (b) FASANOC Secretary General from 1987 – 1996 (c) President of FASANOC from 1997 – 2005 (d) Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2003 South Pacific Games held in Suva, Fiji (e) Invested as an Officer of the Order of Fiji for his services to Sport in Fiji in 2003 (f) represented Fiji in Athletics and Hockey and was the National Hockey Coach from 1984 – 1990 (g) current President of Fiji Hockey Federation (h) Member of the International Olympic Committee since 1994 (i) Vice
President of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) between 1989 – 1993 (j) Elected Secretary General of ONOC in 1993 (k) first Pacific Islander to be elected as President of ONOC in 2009 (l) President of ANOC in 2018 and (m) Chairman of the IOC Olympic Solidarity Commission since 2018 (n) Vice Chair of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission and (o) Member of the IOC. Members Election Commission.
The special Award was presented to Dr Mitchell by The President of the Republic of Fiji and also Patron of FASANOC His Excellency Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote.
“You’re a proud son of Fiji and it’s truly an honour and privilege to work with you in sports for the betterment of our people,” Lenoa said in congratulating Dr Mitchell.
Upon receiving his award Dr Mitchell acknowledged FASANOC as well as the contribution of partners and stakeholders to the development of sports in Fiji.
“What we’ve been able to achieve recently in Fiji is also because of the fact that we have a close working relationship with Government, the Fiji Sports Council and the Fiji National Sports Commission,” Dr Mitchell mentioned.
“The funding that’s come from Government through the Ministry of Sports has helped us get to where we are, in terms of our achievements and also on the sports field and we can all congratulate ourselves for that,” Dr Mitchell said.
“So, thank you all for your and our combined efforts and congratulations FASANOC on your 70th Anniversary,” he added.
Speaking from Guam, ONOC Secretary General Ric Blas said it was a great honor to learn of Dr Robin Mitchell’s recognition during FASANOC 70th Anniversary celebration at the Holiday Inn.
“The award which is a first ever of its kind, recognizes a person’s contribution to sports and the Olympic movement, but more importantly lays down the foundation to which this award is derived from, “Award for Sporting Excellence”, Blas said
“While many know of his great contribution to the sporting movement, many are still unaware of the many hats our President wears, and in wearing those hats or roles, he is as committed to giving his full support and contributions to the highest platforms of sport.
“While I refer to all the commissions he is involved with, my definition is, that President Dr Mitchell is truly the crown of the Pacific Island sports community,” Blas added.
“He’s been Oceania’s torch bearer since his election in 1993, as Secretary General and as President of ONOC in 2009, a true gem of Oceania,” Blas said.
A commemorative plaque was also presented on behalf of ONOC to FASANOC. ONOC Administrative Services Officer and Officer in Charge, Meli Cavu presented the plaque and congratulated FASANOC on their achievements and anniversary.
“On behalf of our President Dr Robin Mitchell, Secretary General Ric Blas, ONOC Executive Board, member NOC’s and ONOC staff, thank you for your invaluable contribution to the development and strengthening of sport in Fiji,” Cavu said when presenting the plaque to President Lenoa at the commemorative dinner.