Fiji's High Performance Unit raises the rugby bar | Pacific Beat

Fiji's High Performance Unit raises the rugby bar

Fiji's High Performance Unit raises the rugby bar

Updated 2 April 2013, 11:15 AEST

Fiji's rich resources of natural rugby talent have for long been evident on the Sevens circuit, but the Fijian game in general is starting to benefit from the establishment of an initiative funded by the International Rugby Board.

Fiji's national referee manager, Patrick Gock, gives details on the High Performance Unit in Suva.

Presenter Chris Rea, from Total Rugby

Speaker: Fiji's national referee manager, Patrick Gock

Koni Vuli, referee trainee

GOCK: We need a lot of assistance and the IRB coming in, giving us the funds and helping us in the HPU unit which a great help for us here in Fiji. We have the HPU gyms around the country which they can use and yes, thanks to the IRB for providing the funds for us to be able to get that.

REA: The funding provides more than just bricks and mortar, with the Fiji Rugby Union now able to employ specialists in a number of key areas, such as fitness, sports science, and referees.

GOCK: They actually go out to the families and visit the families to ensure that the players are up to par with the HPU standards. And it is all about planning in all those things - that is very important especially with our culture. The culture in Fiji is that family is very important, so that once you get the family involved with the training programmes and getting involved with the players, it gives them a boost.

REA: It's not just the players who are benefitting.

GOCK: We have got six HPU referees, one elite referee which is James Bolibui and then we have six development referees and six junior referees.

REA: One referee learning her trade is Koni Vuli.

VULI: The main part is training. That's like the, probably about 90 percent of it. Then of course I have to attend classes and almost every saturday at the ground, that is where I perform and try to apply what I learn.

GOCK: There is heaps of talent. We just need to get into them and get them out exposed and It helps the players, it helps the management and on top of that it's the hardwork that the management and the players need to give back to be able to be successful.

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