Wake up call

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First C’wealth medal renews call to construct standard sporting facilities

BY ROMULUS HUTA

THE bronze medal won by female lifter Jenlyn Wini has renewed calls for immediate construction of international standard sporting facilities in Solomon Islands.

Ronald Bei Talasasa Junior, a former top official within the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) made the statement following Wini’s milestone achievement last Friday by winning the country’s first ever medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast 2018.

Wini collected the bronze in the women’s 58 kilograms class of the weightlifting competition.

Talasasa Junior said Wini’s achievement is great news indeed.

“The medal won by Jenlyn calls for an immediate construction of an international standard facility for weightlifting and other sports.”

Talasasa Junior was a former NOCSI Vice-President International, a position he held for a number of years until earlier 2017.

During his tenure, he served as Chef De Mission for Team Solomon to various international sporting events overseas.

“We have seen enough and witnessed enough.

“Our athletes have proven their ability at the Pacific, Commonwealth and Olympic levels. They have sacrificed their time and efforts, some the time to see their kids grow, others the time to excel at schools or even the time to make money at home. Yet they chose to fly the Solomon colours and have indeed flown the colours and flourished. The best the country can do is to build international standard training and competition facilities. This will be the most we can do for the athletes and a living legacy for generations to come.

“I accept that there are other walks of life that contributes to nation building and should be given due attention. I accept that they too must be given due attention.

“But I am only emphasizing that Sports is a crucial vehicle by which crime reduces. Our strength is that the majority of our youths have taken to sports.

“Let us build on that strength by putting in place better facilities that are of international standards for our athletes to use.

“So I call, not only for weightlifting but for all sports. We want facilities of international standards. No less,” Talasasa Junior stressed.

Talasasa Junior said the long walk ahead for Wini started in 2009.

“She started in 2009 and sacrificed her precious family time with her son, since then. Jenly represents a renewed start for sports in Solomon Islands

“It was from 2009 that Team Solomon started to turn the clock by aiming to train better and select the best.

“It was slow but we had the determination to succeed.

“The goal was achieved in Wallis & Futuna Mini Games in 2013 when Team Solomon won four Gold Medals, the highest at any Mini Games.

“Then the Commonwealth Games in 2014 Glasgow, we had for the first time had a medal hopeful, Jenly Tegu Wini. She eventually won a medal at Gold Coast 2018. This is great news indeed! The celebrations continue! In 2011, Young Wale won bronze at the Youth Commonwealth Games at Isle of Man. This was in boxing. So Jenlyn and Wale had raised the Solomon Islands Flag at the Commonwealth Games.

“As for the Pacific Games, Team Solomon did another feat in PNG 2015 when it sets another record by winning 7 Gold Medals which was repeated or bettered at the Mini Games in VAN 2017.

“Looking back, I can only say that Team Solomon have come of age and should not lower its guards but hunger and thirst for more, hunger and thirst for better results! We are warriors!” said Talasasa Junior.

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