Bank gives $18,000 for Team Fiji Champion Program

Date: 24 February 2015

Country Manager Kevin McCarthy this week announced support for Team Fiji to the tune of $18,000 sponsorship for six selected sports.

BSP has joined the Team Fiji Champion Program as the 16th and biggest corporate body to help support preparations for the Pacific Games.

The Team Fiji Champion initiative is to help FASANOC raise money by allowing every sport to seek their own network of sponsors.  The money raised through this is to help athletes in those sports get across to the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

BSP's support is unique in the sense that we have selected the sports which are considered to be small or minor sports which have always struggled to raise money to fund their participation in international events staged overseas.

In presenting the cheques today, he said "BSP is the main official sponsor of the Games in Papua New Guinea.  But we are delighted to be able to offer direct assistance to our own Fiji contingent to support our athletes get to the Games in Papua New Guinea."

"This is the first of several avenues of support that we are going to be offering to the Team Fiji."

Mr McCarthy said "the sports selected today may have a status as a minor sports but they have high potential to win gold medals for Fiji at these Games. They have consistently punched above their weight in all their international outing and have brought back many medals for Fiji."

Chef de Mission to the Pacific Games Cathy Wong said BSP's generosity has allowed some athletes who were seriously in doubt to participate in PNG to now go.

Powerlifting section manager and former Pacific Games champion Eliesa Irava, was emotional and said it was an honour to have BSP on board to support powerlifting.  "We have always brought home many gold medals.  But each time, it has been a struggle to find the funds to get to international competitions like the Pacific Games."

Also present at the launch was current reigning sports woman of the year and now world record holder in her 84kg Plus weight class, Ms Seinimili Turner. 

The audience was also informed that she, only yesterday, received her official certification from the Oceania Powerlifting Federation making her world record of 375kg from a series of lifts set in December 2014 in Australia an official one. 

 At 62 and still going strong, Turner said support by the Bank means they can also send top and upcoming youngsters to the Games, "Because of this kind gesture, I am determined to bring more medals back home."

 Table Tennis Section manager President Anthony Ho, said the timely contribution by BSP came when they were approaching deadlines to pay up levies for the trip.

"You know such assistance takes the pressure of our hands to look for funds and helps us focus on training our athletes, BSP has done a lot for our sport and they continue to support us minor sports which is very humbling for us all." 

Table tennis are taking 4 para athletes, persons with disabilities, to compete in table tennis events at these games.  All these athletes have high gold medal potential.

Each sport received $3,000 each yesterday which would all go towards their levies to fund their trip and accommodation in PNG.



Related news feeds:

Bank lends a hand  (source: Fiji Times)