Joana Wants To Give Back
Wednesday 2nd September, 2015
Her passion not only involves sports but also giving back what she has learned to the community is something she feels is an obligation and she hopes to achieve this as a STOP Champion.
The 29-year-old Vuna, Taveuni lass is one of the tallest athletes in Fiji having represented the country in cricket and basketball.
"The reason I joined this STOP Programme was so I can give back to the community," said Joana.
"I knew about STOP for a while as I was a Peer Leader but now I've been given the opportunity to really make an impact on issues highlighted through the programme."
Joana said being able to advocate on issues important to the public through sports was a plus for her.
"Currently I work as a Cricket Development Officer for the Island Cricket Programme and we do similar work with the community.
"But the STOP Programme has opened up a huge door of knowledge for me especially in regards to AIDS, HIV, STIs and NCDs," she said.
Joana said lifestyle changes needed to be implemented in order to make more of a meaningful impact.
"Being a STOP Champion allows me the opportunity to advocate to not only my teammates but also the community on why these issues highlighted by STOP is important," said Joana.
She said while there was still some stigmata associated with AIDS, HIV and NCDs it was important to never give up and always push forward their message.
"I hope to take the positives from this workshop and really impact and be a positive role model for those people around me."
Pic: Joana (L) with a fellow cricketer