The Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways has recognised the voluntary support of students of The Fiji National University (FNU) bestowing its first academic scholarship to Apisalome Raiwalui Macanalagi.

Partners since 2016, the internationally recognised golf tournament provides an opportunity for FNU students to contribute their skill set in the workforce to gain invaluable experience to assist not only their studies, but future employment opportunities by taking part in the Westpac Volunteer Program.

For the past two years approximately 120 FNU students from the College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism faculty have volunteered their time in roles ranging from walker scorers, marshals, score recording, administration and registration for the tournament which is now one of the pre-eminent golf tournaments in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to the abundance of experience the students received in sectors relevant to their studies, a $5,000 FJD Scholarship was created on behalf of the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways and volunteer sponsor Westpac Fiji, and awarded to a volunteer who at the tournament in 2017 displayed outstanding effort and commitment in their role for the week.

While the Fiji International Westpac Volunteer Managers nominated five students who showed dedication, enthusiasm, commitment and a good understanding of their role, FNU selected the winner, taking into account each student’s overall university results and diligence to their studies.

Macanalagi, a 20 year old, student who is in his second year of The Trade Diploma in Hospitality and Hotel Management was selected as the 2017 Fiji International Scholarship recipient.

When asked about his overall outlook on being a volunteer at this prestigious event, Api said, “My main aim was to be recognised as someone who had performed to the best of his ability.

“The job was tough at times, especially in the scorching heat but I had to do my best as I knew feedback of our performance would be sent back to FNU.

“I worked as a walker scorer and also in the emergency section. What kept me going was a favourite bible verse from The book of Psalms 126 verse 5 “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

More than just a golf tournament, the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways aims to leave a legacy in Fiji and the FNU partnership and subsequent scholarship is one community initiative aimed at achieving this goal.

“Firstly I would like to thank Apisalome (Macanalagi) and his fellow FNU students for their willingness to volunteer at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways. Over the past two years the students have done a wonderful job and made significant contributions to the success of the tournament,” said Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia, which alongside Sports & Entertainment Limited, owns the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways.

“The Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways is an internationally renowned sporting event and it is our hope through our alignment with FNU, students develop skills and gain knowledge during their time volunteering that will assist them with their future career aspirations.

“We created this scholarship as a way of recognising and thanking the students for their contribution to the tournament but to also commend their dedication to their studies. Apisalome is a very deserving inaugural recipient and I hope to see him back at the tournament in 2018.”

As a leading tertiary education provider in Fiji, FNU is pleased to align with Fiji’s largest sporting event to provide its students with this hands on learning experience.