An innovative new workshop has been delivered by the Women in News and Sport (WINS) Programme with Fiji Just Play Programme Manager and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup commentator, Lavenia Yalovi, facilitating.

In Fiji, 30 women from different sporting and media backgrounds and including ten students from the Fiji National University media and communications programme, participated in the two-day workshop, held at the Tanoa Plaza in Suva.

Joining Yalovi as a facilitor was Sofaia Koroitanoa, both former WINS workshop participants, with the pair providing training on mobile journalism and the nuances of story-telling via video.

“The training went well and it was great to see the quality of photographs being taken and video being produced by participants from their practical sessions,” Yalovi said.

“I really enjoyed facilitating the workshop especially as it will empower women to carve out a career in the, so far, male-dominated world of sports media.Fiji Just Play Programme Manager, Lavenia Yalovi, facilitates a session of the WINS workshop in Suva, Fiji. Credit: Team Up Program

“Women in Sport coverage is an area hardly seen in media and newspapers daily, especially in Fiji, and if the participants are able to use the knowledge and skills learnt over these two days to advocate or publish through different platforms, just imagine how big the coverage and reach can be for women’s sports.”

Feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive, with many gaining skills they believe will help them, “personally, professionally and at school”, with the ability to tell stories using mobile phones as the only tool, one of the most exciting aspects of the workshop.

“The practical sessions have been awesome for me, trying to capture the moment, getting the angle right. I want to learn more because I know there are a lot of apps out there, but being in a group and doing the learning together has been much easier than sitting on my own trying to learn,” one participant said.

Yalovi said the opportunities are endless, and she’s incredibly grateful to OFC Just Play Programme partner, the Team Up Program and the ABC International Development Unit for providing such a thorough, user-friendly method to tell the stories of women in sport across the Pacific.

Workshop facilitators Sofaia Koroitanoa (L) and Lavenia Yalovi (R) with Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes.

“The needs on the ground level, as stated by both sports journalists and representatives from the various sporting bodies, is huge and the demand for the workshop to be run in the West and Northern divisions of Fiji is high,” she said.

“I am looking forward to facilitating those workshops in the future, if that’s what the WINS programme and the ABCID would like to do.”

The WINS Programme is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and all workshop attendees were awarded with Certificates of Participation by Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes.