A need to focus on the development of the Niue athletes and the young and upcoming generation in sports on the island was one of the key views expressed at the Niue Sports Forum that was held last Friday.
BCN news reached out to some of the young Niue athletes to share their views on the current issues of sports on the island.
A young 18-year-old athlete who wishes to remain anonymous told BCN news yesterday that the island needs a better sports committee to properly develop sports on the island.
“Right now too many stories are going around and it’s affecting us as athletes, although we want to continue what we love doing but we can’t do it if Niue sports are not able to settle themselves as one”, says the 18-year-old athlete.
Young 15-year-old New Zealand-based Niue weightlifter Ramsi Edwards told BCN news that since moving to New Zealand she has experienced many weightlifting opportunities compared to when she was on the island.
“As a young Niue Weightlifter I think that I am lucky my parents brought me to NZ… I am training with a great club and the best coach (President of New Zealand Weightlifting Simon Kent) and I get advice from champion lifters.”
Every month Ramsi participates in a female athlete’s forum where girls in weightlifting give support and advice on nutrition and wellbeing. She also attends a leadership academy every week where she learns about coaching development.
“If I stayed in Niue I think I would have dropped out a long time ago because weightlifting in Niue does not do the things I am doing now. Like going to heaps of competitions…”
Ramsi also shared that her training environment is very welcoming and her team is very supportive, making her feel at home.
“It makes me sad that this is happening in Niue and they don’t want us Niueans in NZ to represent Niue. I was born in Niue but it’s like they don’t want us. I can go and lift for NZ but I don’t want to. I want to represent Niue. I want to be known as a Niuean lifter,” says Ramsi as she hopes for the sports codes to work together as one.
Another young 21-year-old former golfer Haven Siosikefu who has regional experience shared her point of view on the current NISCGA debacle and last week’s sports forum stating that the current situation with the Niue sports body is unhealthy.
“The meeting last Friday was a civilised reaction to what has happened with Lawn Bowls and also to the dismissal of the 2 executive members. The reasons expressed for dismissal sound weak and it appears to be excuses more than anything,” says Haven.
Haven suggests that when nominating candidates into key sports positions such as the NISCGA executive, the candidates should be “people with credibility, passion and good ethics.”
In response to the disputes between NISCGA and Niue Lawn Bowls, Haven says that it should be the Niue sports governing body to prioritise the various sports codes of the island. She also adds that if there are certain protocols in place for the sports codes then the national sports body should respect their decisions.
“If most of the codes on the island are making noises, it’s simple they are not happy and they should be the sport’s body’s priority…it is obvious the sports body here is not talking nor listening to the codes.”
Our Niue people overseas matter as much but they are more fortunate with opportunities compared to the people on the island, says Haven.
“NISCGA should be representing the best interest of sports codes on Niue…but it seems that their primary role is implementing the aims and objectives of PGC and CGF rather than establishing trust and good relationship with the sports codes on the island.”
When BCN news asked to share her views on sports on the island in general, Haven responded saying:
“It’s awesome to see all the youth of each village come out and proudly rep their villages, especially the amount of competitiveness from the teams. Unfortunately some sports don’t have much of the youths interest eg. Lawn Bowls, Golf etc. I hope the hype of having each sport season will continue, it helps the youth be more active in the community.”
The young athletes have expressed their concerns with much sadness but are still hopeful that these sports issues that the island is currently facing as well as the sports codes will soon find resolution and make amendments for the better development of sports on Niue and upcoming generations.
BCN news also reached out to a few other young Niue athletes to share their views but they were unresponsive.