Athletics Fiji saddened by Waqa’s passing

May 22, 2024 4:14 pm

[Source: Filimoni Vuli Waqa/Fiji Secondary Schools' Athletics Association]

Athletics Fiji is deeply saddened with the passing of Filimoni Vuli Waqa, a man who dedicated over 45 years of his life to the sport.

In a statement, Athletics Fiji says it’s with heavy hearts, they bid farewell to a beloved icon of Fiji, Oceania and World athletics community.

Waqa who passed away last Sunday will be remembered as the man who shaped the Fiji Finals to what it is today.

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Under his leadership, the Coca-Cola Games flourished into the largest high school athletics competition in the southern hemisphere, standing as Fiji’s premier sporting spectacle each year.

His tireless commitment has left an indelible mark on the landscape of athletics in Fiji and beyond.

During his remarkable tenure, he served with distinction as President or Secretary of Athletics Fiji for more than 20 years, and as the Secretary of Fiji Secondary Schools’ Athletics Association for over four decades.

At the time of his passing, Waqa held the positions of President at Athletics Fiji and Secretary at Fiji Secondary Schools’ Athletics Association.

Waqa’s enduring legacy shines brightest through his nearly four-decade tenure as Competition Director of the Coca Cola Games.

Since 1979, Vuli Waqa’s unwavering dedication as a technical official and lecturer for World Athletics has profoundly shaped the athletic landscape, not only in Fiji but also on a regional scale.

The impact of his contribution transcends Fiji’s borders, evident through his influential positions such as Vice President of the Oceania Athletics Association, and his eight-year tenure on the OAA Council.

As we approach the 2024 Oceania Championships set to take place in Suva during the first week of June, we reflect on the pivotal role of Vuli Waqa, who served as the Competition Director for the very successful inaugural Oceania Athletics Championships in Suva back in 1990.

He officiated as a Technical Official at several of the Pacific Games and Oceania Championships right up to the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara, and various prestigious global events such as the World Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney in 1989, 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

In recognition of his steadfast commitment, exceptional leadership, and significant impact on athletics in Fiji and the broader Oceania region, he was honored with a Life Membership of the Oceania Athletics Association in 2015, in 2019 the World Athletics Plaque of Merit Award for exemplary service to the cause of World Athletics within Oceania.

In 2017, FASANOC bestowed upon Filimoni Vuli Waqa the esteemed Fiji Olympic Order for his invaluable contributions to Fiji Sports.

Notably, in 2020, the President of the Republic of Fiji and Chancellor of the Order of Fiji personally awarded him the 50th Anniversary of Independence Commemorative Medal, commemorating his enduring dedication to the nation.