Oceania National Olympic Committee’s (ONOC) President, Dr Robin Mitchell, was presented with the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee’s (FASANOC) 70th Anniversary ‘Award for Sporting Excellence’ at a commemorative dinner held in Fiji’s capital, Suva.
“To mark our 70th Anniversary, FASANOC invited nominations for a new ‘Excellence in Sports Award’, FASANOC President Makarita Lenoa mentioned to the invited guests.
Lenoa said the Award recognises individuals who have made significant contributions at the highest level to FASANOC, as well as the development and promotion of Sport and Olympism in Fiji.
“The panel selected Dr Robin Mitchell for having not only met the criteria, but exceeded it in his service to sports in Fiji and the world,” she announced.
She said Dr Mitchell’s outstanding achievements included, (a) being a member of the FASANOC Executive Board since 1985, (b) FASANOC Secretary General from 1987 to 1996, (c) President of FASANOC from 1997 to 2005, (d) Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2003 South Pacific Games held in Suva, Fiji, (e) invested as an Officer of the Order of Fiji for his services to Sport in Fiji in 2003, (f) represented Fiji in Athletics and Hockey and was the National Hockey Coach from 1984 to 1990, (g) current President of Fiji Hockey Federation, (h) member of the International Olympic Committee since 1994, (i) Vice President of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) between 1989 and 1993, (j) elected Secretary General of ONOC in 1993, (k) first Pacific Islander to be elected as President of ONOC in 2009, (l) President of ANOC in 2018, (m) Chairman of the IOC Olympic Solidarity Commission since 2018, (n) Vice Chair of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, and (o) Member of the IOC’s Members Election Commission.
The special award was presented to Dr Mitchell by the President of the Republic of Fiji and also Patron of FASANOC, His Excellency Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote. Upon receiving his award Dr Mitchell acknowledged FASANOC as well as the contribution of partners and stakeholders to the development of sports in Fiji.
Speaking from Guam, ONOC Secretary General, Ric Blas, said it was a great honour to learn of Dr Robin Mitchell’s recognition during FASANOC 70th Anniversary celebration at the Holiday Inn in Suva.
“The award, which is a first ever of its kind, recognises a person’s contribution to sports and the Olympic movement, but more importantly lays down the foundation to which this award is derived from, ‘Award for Sporting Excellence’, Blas said. “While many know of his great contribution to the sporting movement, many are still unaware of the many hats our President wears, and in wearing those hats or roles, he is as committed to giving his full support and contributions to the highest platforms of sport.”
“He has been Oceania’s torch bearer since his election in 1993, as Secretary General and as President of ONOC in 2009 – a true gem of Oceania,” Blas concluded.
A commemorative plaque was also presented on behalf of ONOC to FASANOC. ONOC Administrative Services Officer and Officer in Charge, Meli Cavu, presented the plaque and congratulated FASANOC on their achievements and anniversary.
“On behalf of our President, Dr Robin Mitchell, Secretary General, Ric Blas, the ONOC Executive, member NOCs and ONOC staff, thank you for your invaluable contribution to the development and strengthening of sport in Fiji,” Cavu said when presenting the plaque to President Lenoa at the commemorative dinner.