IOC Approves Warawara and Rii for Scholarships
The International Olympic Committee has approved the awarding of Athlete Training scholarships to two Vanuatu athletes, Boe Warawara (boxing) and Rillio Rio Rii (rowing).
The scholarships will provide funding for both athletes leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will allow them to access the best facilities available.
The funding will cover items such as specialised coaching, medical and insurance costs plus travel and accommodation for Olympic qualification competitions.
Warawara is currently in Australia, having recently completed the Commonwealth Games Federation GAP camp in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, while Rii continues to train independently in Vanuatu.
Jess Richardson, who is associated with Vanuatu Rowing as the Youth Girls coach and also works closely with Rii, believes the scholarship gives him an incredible opportunity.
“[The scholarship] is huge for Rio. It means that he is able to have the time, flexibility and support to complete the training load that is required of him to be able to compete at that international level, and hopefully towards Tokyo 2020,” she said.
Uri Warawara, father to Boe, also believes this opportunity will benefit his son enormously.
“Boe is currently at the Warrior Boxing Club (Aust) in the build up to the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
“I believe that the training has changed him a lot and I would encourage Vanuatu boxers to train at the same facility.”
However, Warawara senior is convinced his son will gain the most benefit by utilising the scholarship funds to train overseas.
“I don’t think it would be wise for Boe to return to Vanuatu for his training though, and that is what I’m currently discussing with the VASANOC CEO Henry Tavoa,” he said.
“If there is any possibility of setting him up in maybe England, France or Cuba with the scholarship funds, that would be the best option for him.”
Both athletes are hoping to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and these scholarships will certainly give them a strong foundation to achieve that goal.