Elenani Tinai and Miriama Senokonoko are Athletics Fiji’s latest US Collegiate Scholarship recipients and have joined the likes of Albert Miller Jnr, Younis Bese and Ana Kaloucava.
Elenani joins Albert Miller Jnr at Southwestern Community College in Iowa after being awarded the Oceania Australia Foundation Scholarship program offered by ONOC last year to prospective student athletes to train and study in the United States.
The Oceania Australia Foundation Scholarship program was established to provide new and expanded opportunities for the people of Oceania by ONOC. The program provides two years of academic sports scholarships to selected junior colleges in the United States. At the conclusion of this two year scholarship, the recipient may have the opportunity to move to an NCAA college or return to their home country.
For the past 2 years, Elenani has been the nation’s most consistent female 400m runner, having a personal best of 57.45s which she clocked at the Commonwealth Games early this year. She’s won numerous medals for her Sawani based school at the Coca Cola Games and was also part of the women’s 4x400m relay team that won gold at the Mini Pacific Games in Vanuatu.
The only person to who have bested Elenani’s 2017 National Ranking was Miriama Senokonoko, who was also awarded with a scholarship to Limeston College in South Carolina, USA.
Limeston College is a private 4 year coeducational, liberal arts, NCAA DII college.
Unlike Elenani, the multi-talented Miri has not only been Fiji’s leading female 400m runner for the last 2 years but has been dominating the triple jump event since the absence of national record holder Milika Tuivanuavou.
Athletics Fiji will be looking to monitor their performance and the performances of other athletes competing overseas so that they maybe included into the 2019 SPG training squad for next year.
Story by: Eugene Vollmer (23/08/2018)