HISTORY

In the mid-1980s, the association revealed, Henry Elder, as the headteacher of Veiuto Primary School in Suva, was the co-ordinator of the Suva Primary Schools Athletics Association that organised the annual athletics competition at the National Stadium, now known as ANZ Stadium, for Suva, Lami and Nasinu schools.

In 1986, Paula Cavu, as the divisional education officer western, organised the first Western Division Primary Schools Athletics Association championship at Churchill Park, Lautoka. The event was called the Juicy Games because it was sponsored by Island Bottlers of Fiji. All the districts in the Western Division were represented – Ra, Ba/Tavua/Vatukoula, Lautoka/Nadi/Yasawa and Nadroga/Navosa.

In 1987, Elder and Cavu, decided to combine the two athletics championships into a national competition which was staged in Term 3 at the National Stadium. On the same weekend Cavu was elected president of the Fiji Primary Schools Amateur Athletics Association (FPSAAA) and Elder was elected secretary and treasurer. Though he was involved indirectly before 1991, Patrick Bower, now the secretary, assisted Cavu and Elder.

Together, they pursued to bring the primary athletics games to the next level. The association is now called Fiji Primary School Athletics Association (FPSAA). The first official sponsor was Goodman Fielder and the Games were then known as the Twisties Games.

After the Twisties Games, Nestle came onboard and the name changed to Milo Games. In 2006, in the 11th hour, Nestle informed FPSAA that it could not continue sponsorship. The question whether or not the Games will be staged was in the balance.

Thanks to FMF Foods Ltd, they came to the rescue and offered to sponsor for that period. In 2007, FPSAA signed a three-year term with FMF Foods Ltd and the Games became the FMF Chow Games. In 2007, Vuli Waqa, another former teacher and prominent athletics administrator, introduced to FPSAA the use of photo finish and meet manager software to run the competition.

In 2011, FMF Foods Ltd continued with the sponsorship, but the highlight was the divisional games that was introduced. The divisional games were to be held every three years and on the fourth year, the National Games will be featured.

It was an exhilarating moment for everyone as the divisions now have the opportunity for greater participation from their respective schools.

This initiative by FMF Foods Ltd and FPSAA provided an excellent way of reaching to the community in their own locality to develop athletics at the primary level.