Oceania Athletics Update

Athletics competition in the Oceania area is slowly getting back to the ‘new normal’, with several of our Member Federations now conducting their events. Palau and Nauru were able to conduct Championships during the early months of the pandemic, which made them part of the fortunate few federations in the world to do so.

Over the months of July, August and September a further eight Member Federations will be hosting their National Track and Field Championships.

Currently, all Oceania Athletics Championships and Events are postponed. Oceania Athletics is working with Local Organising Committees and all Member Federations on what international competitions might be possible in 2020 and early 2021.

Record numbers attend the 17th Edition of the Pristine Palau Half Marathon, 10k and 5k

A total of 127 participants registered for the event which, was hosted for the first time on a World Athletics Certified route (Koror Side to downtown Koror and back). Mr Fong from Hong Kong came to Palau last year in November with the assistance of the Palau Visitors Authority (PVA), Taiwan Embassy, and the Palau Track and Field Association, to have the route measured and marked. This ensured performances achieved on the route were considered eligible for the top list, entry standards, world rankings and world records.

The Palau Track and Field Association (PTFA) were proud to host the race in support of many sponsors and agencies. The difficult road terrain made it one of the most unique road races in the world.

The Half Marathon event started at 4:00am from the Koror Side of the bridge, to turning point 1 in Meyuns (Front of Ngirchongor’s Residence), to Malakal in front of the Blue Bay Main Office, and back to Koror Side. The 10k event started at 5:00am from Koror Side of the bridge to PCC Parking area and back to the bridge. The 5k event started at 6:00am from the Koror Side of the bridge to Katey’s Healing Garden, and back.

PTFA was worried about the turnout as they were already in a lockdown, but because Palau is still COVID-free, PTFA and PVA decided to proceed, and it turned out to be the largest number of registrations they have had for the event over the past 17 years.

Congratulations to the Palau Track and Field Association on a great event, and to all the runners who completed the race.

Full results can be found at: https://athletics-oceania.com/results/.

Nauru National Athletics Championships: The Constitution Day Athletics 2020

The Nauru National Athletics Championships are held every year and this year was no exception, despite the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world. The Championship program event schedule started early to allow for the Athletics Association to prepare within the limitations of its resources.

The events are held over 12 days, to allow for participants to enter multiple events. The final day of competition is conducted on Constitution Day, a public holiday in Nauru. This year, the government’s opening remarks were presented by H.E. the President Hon Lionel Aingimea, which included a briefing on the historical development of Nauru’s Constitution, and where he confirmed his government’s support to National Athletics events for years to come. Following the President’s opening remarks, he fired the first shot, launching the 6-year girls 50m sprints to open the National Athletics Championship final day.

Full results can be found at: https://athletics-oceania.com/results/.

Oceania Athletics Development Courses

The Oceania Athletics Association (OAA) has identified nutrition and health as a priority for the region. Nutrition is a major determinant of health, and promoting a healthy diet has the potential to substantially reduce burden of disease and improve quality of life.

OAA have partnered with Griffith University’s Health Sciences, Nutrition and Dietetics department to continue our research and tailor workshops to the needs of our regional areas. OAA have also engaged external stakeholders and partnerships through the Ministry of Health in Tonga and Executive Director of the Pacific Island Food Revolution television program, to provide promotional ideas and discuss the workshops to ensure the International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Project will be suitable and sustainable within the Oceania region.

Throughout COVID-19, the OAA office has continued to work with the research team in preparing the background information and educational seminar materials, and although we have not yet been able to present the courses in a face-to-face capacity, we will roll the courses out via a variety of virtual platforms.

These platforms have become increasingly popular with other educational seminars we have available to our Member Federations.  We are currently offering Governance, Strategic Planning, Competition Management, Athlete Retention, Technical Officials, Coaching, Succession Planning and many other seminars that our Member Federations are requesting during a time where people need to feel connected and belong.