Monday, May 5, 2008


While many 18-year-olds are still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up, Luke Shannon already enjoys the work he does.
Originally from Stirling, in Scotland, Luke is a volunteer physical education teacher at the Nasikawa Vision College, in Sigatoka.
The lanky teen has dedicated his time to share his knowledge and sports skills with athletes from the college.
Since arriving in February, Luke has only one thing on his mind and that is to help teach students ways to develop their natural athletic talents.
His parents are Rosie and Robin Shannon.
His father works as a management consultant while his mother is a teacher.
Although Luke seems to follow in his mother's footsteps by being a volunteer teacher, he definitely has a passion for something else sport.
"This is my first time to come to Fiji and I am very excited and happy being here," he said.
"I am here as a volunteer PE teacher for the Gap Activity Project.
"It is a charitable organisation and we offer our services for the betterment of the people we work with.
"As for me, I have been actively involved in sports back home so I volunteered my services to help in the area of sports.
"My sister went to Malaysia as a volunteer so I became interested in being a volunteer too.
"It is very challenging but I am looking forward to the rest of my stay here." He said this was not the first time for volunteers from the charitable organisation to work in Fiji. Luke said in 2002 a group of volunteers came to Fiji specialising in different fields and helping out whenever they could.
Like most volunteers, Luke does not mind his unpaid services.
His satisfaction comes from helping an athlete improve his or her skills in sports.
He was part of the Coca-Cola Light Games, officiating as an arena marshal.
Being part of the secondary schools athletics meet was another memorable experience for him.
"Seeing the talent in local athletes is fantastic," he said.
"There is a lot of natural talent among the students and it is good to have these kinds of competitions where they can develop their talent.
"I mostly help them with training, so for me too this is a learning process too.
"I want to learn the different cultures here and I have made many friends.
"Fiji is a fantastic place and the people are really friendly.
"I had to sign up with the charity organisation and I had to pay for my travel and accommodation.
"However, the experience here is great," he said.
Luke is not the only volunteer at the Nasikawa Vision College.
Another volunteer, Michael Perry, from England, is sports teacher as well.
They both are in the country for seven months and will leave in August.
However, despite coming half way across the world to help develop the talents of students at the college, the two volunteers will take with them fond memories of their time in Fiji.

Adapted from fijitimes Online