With a prize pool of FJ$50,000 and only six teams per division, the odds at this touch tournament are pretty favourable. Above and beyond prize money though, are the values at the heart of the tournament.
The Fijian Cup is changing the face of what sporting tournaments can look like, aiming to make a positive impact upon Fijian sport and the island’s economy.
Open to international entry and hosted by NZ experiential travel agency Tourism HQ, up to 18 teams across three divisions – mixed, men’s and women’s, will head to Fiji in November. The teams are mainly NZ-based, but Director of Sports Dale Folland has had requests from teams as far as Los Angeles to Papua New Guinea.“We offer this world-class tournament as an all-inclusive holiday with flights, accommodation, entry and transfers; all at a price comparable to a national tournament.
Some Kiwi touch teams spend thousands just travelling to Auckland or Wellington for a weekend. We’re able to do this through incredibly strong relationships with Fijian travel authorities, who understand the value we bring to the nation.
”The Fijian Cup is dedicated to supporting emerging Fijian talent, offering six teams entry to the tournament. About 10% of the total population in Fiji play rugby, and there is such a natural sporting talent there,” says Folland.
“Their international growth opportunities are hindered with sporting body infrastructure, and a minimum wage of NZ$1.50 an hour. If they win, they would have won their annual wage in one tournament.”
The Fijian Cup also supports travel, hospitality and sporting economies during Fiji’s shoulder season, employing resort staff, marshalls, bus drivers, local sporting bodies and local catering companies. Folland says that Tourism HQ is dedicated to providing Fiji with the tools to continue to grow as a sporting nation.
“With NZ Touch, we’re developing training and refereeing programs to enable Fiji to have approved Touch Officials and develop their coaches. This creates more autonomy to grow the sport and the opportunity to participate in an incredible international tournament each year without having to depart their shores."
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