Running out of space !
A number of the I-Kiribati throwers of "te raurau" (the plate) are getting close to or exceeding 40m. in training. They cannot use the main sports field at the National Stadium because there is always an evening friendly game of Football featuring the local "Youth" (aged up to 30+) ! Thus they have to throw across the end of the stadium area and now they are off the grass and onto the track, thus having to watch out for the runners on each circuit.
Just beyond the track (six narrow lanes wide) is a big, old Blue Gum tree which is meant to be the target for a revised direction of throw from the Discus circle. This is about 40m. from the circle and is getting bombarded. However, just behind the tree is the main road, with a variety of vehicles and a few pedestrians. It is cheaper to use rubber discoi for training, but these bounce and roll. Of recent nights, this bouncing and rolling has taken a few discoi onto the road. So you will understand the title "Running out of space" !
The National Stadium is meant to be a shared facility. However the Ministry under whose jurisdiction it falls stops work at 4.15 pm on weekdays. So, although we of KAA have an agreement with the Ministry to have the use of the pitch area for long throws and as the approach run for horizontal jumps on one evening a week, the Football fraternity do not agree. Thus we have disputes on most Thursdays.
We hope at some stage to reach a compromise so that no-one ends up being hospitalised !
This may give those who have exclusive use of Athletics facilities a better idea of what it is like when you have to share the limited space which is intrinsic to atolls !