Viniana Riwai played for Fiji's women's rugby sevens team at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) Voices of the Athletes (VOA) champions have joined with the Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC) and Fiji Police Force as part of a week-long community outreach programme.

It focused on leadership, with seven VOA champions representing FASANOC.

These included Olympians Vaciseva Tavaga, a sprinter, and rugby player Viniana Riwai.

The others were footballer and VOA coordinator Matelita Vuakoso, cricketer Joana Lesi, footballer Naomi Waqanidrola and hockey players Tailah Ah Yuk and Tessa Marie Harman, who covered a wide range of topics in visiting selected communities between the settlements of Nadi and Vatukoula.

Vatukoula Netball Association President Marieta Futufiri said it was encouraging to hear from the athletes.

"The presenters were full of confidence and despite their young age managed to get their message across," Futufiri said.

FASANOC's VOA programme featured Olympian Viniana Riwai ©FASANOC
FASANOC's VOA programme featured Olympian Viniana Riwai ©FASANOC

"I hope our youth can learn from their interaction with the VOA and have a positive impact on the community.

"It was made clear to the youth that positively exists in sports and that they can also be a part of it too."

Taniela Tamailebo, coach of Narau Netball Club, called the programme "enlightening" and mentioned drug-free sport as an interesting topic covered.

Health, disease prevention and environmentalism were also looked at.

VOA coordinator Vuakoso thanked the Fiji Police Force and the FNSC for arranging the events.

The VOA scheme had ceased all its outreach operations earlier this year to comply with Government restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they can now resume.

It is part of the Athletes and Communities Engagement Programme, which is part of FASANOC's goal of empowering communities in Fiji.