During the AG in Besançon (France) you were elected ISF Continental President for Oceania.
Congratulations! You have accepted this assignment with the aim to contribute to the development of the International School Sport Federation in your continent.
What are your plans in this perspective?
The Oceania Continental area is the smallest in the world in terms of ISF member countries. Our membership is currently made up of Australia, New Zealand and Fr. Polynesia. I will use every opportunity to promote membership of ISF and plan to build opportunities for countries to participate in Oceania area events as well as intra country competitions in ISF Sports.
How do you think you’ll realise those plans?
In November this year, School Sport Australia’s flagship event – The Pacific School Games – will attract thousands of primary and secondary school students and supporters to Adelaide. Incomparable to any other international school sport championship, the Pacific School Games provides opportunities for around 4000 school-aged students to participate in nine different sports at the highest level. Students aged between 10 – 19 years from at least 14 countries, including every Australian state and territory, will compete from November 21 – 29, 2015 in the sports of Swimming, Diving, Basketball, Touch Football, Baseball, Softball, Football (Soccer) and Table Tennis, as well as Goalball for the visually impaired. The Pacific School Games will occur every two years with the next Games to be held in Adelaide in 2017.
There is further opportunity for sports to have more regionalised competitions in the future, based on sports which are played in the Oceania Region.
How do you see the future of school sport in your continent?
There are several opportunities for students to be involved in school sport in our continent whether its intra or interschool sport at district, division, region or state level or being selected to represent your state/ and or your country in national and international competitions. There needs to be a mix of these programs to cater for the different approaches taken to school sport in various countries. There are many small countries in the Pacific area who would welcome the opportunity to be involved in representative school sport, yet have significant financial challenge in achieving that participation.
How can ISF contribute to the success of school sport in your continent?
The notion of ISF enabling and supporting competitions under the ISF banner in distant regions such as Oceania means that there needs to be the opportunity for the region to organise and host an event which suits the needs of the area, without the very significant costs of travel into continental Europe.
Is it possible to increase the participation of more countries of your continent to ISF events?
I believe that it is possible to increase participation if the cost and location of events is more aligned to the area. Smaller countries need to invest their funds in the local area exposing as many students as possible to representative school sport.
Do you have more ‘dreams’ associated with the sport at school that you would like to see implemented?
I dream of a time when every student has the opportunity to participate in their chosen sport at a high level and not be constrained by financial considerations.