Coffa: ‘Fiji should be proud of Eileen’

Eileen Cikamatana in Suva. Picture: PAULINI CURUQARA

Fiji should be proud of what Eileen Cikamatana has achieved.

Oceania Weightlifting Federation general secretary and head coach Paul Coffa said Eileen has made this country proud by winning and breaking records.

“She is happy and she will continue to put her birth country Fiji, and Australia on top.”

He said the Australian government was funding her in a big way.

“For me, it cost me $36,000 to build a gym just for her and we will continue to do it.

“A lot of sacrifices have gone to this little girl, and I never asked for a single dollar and I am proud of what she has achieved.”

The 22-year-old said coming back home feels different, a lot of changes, but the atmosphere is still the same, especially in training.

“When you’re motivated in training, it helps you focus no matter where you are,” she said.

“Everyone has its own talent and potential. It is up to them how they discover what they really wanted since their future is in their hands.

“If they want to really achieve something in life, then they are willing to go a mile for it, but don’t give up faith if it becomes tougher.”

The Tavia Village lass with maternal links to Bureta Village on Ovalau said she was proud to represent her country but even more proudly when Australia gave her the chance to pursue her dream career that she wanted.

She said the Olympics was the biggest competition ever competing amongst the best all over the world and her aim was to be the best athlete and not just to participate.

“I left home when I was 14 years old and I pretty much had to depend on myself and train with athletes from the Oceania region that I don’t even know.

“I had to change my lifestyle and routine in order to get around the new life I was going to live in.”

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