In 1984, a group of Coral Coast hoteliers started a race with bamboo rafts for simple fun which then drew the wider attention of a significant amount of hotel staff and supporters who came to watch the ‘spectacle’, as well as enjoy communal barbecues and refreshments. This event came to be known as the Sigatoka Bilibili Race and is now a festive sporting event that involves many of the employees of the various resorts and hotels along the Coral Coast, and including Suva and Nadi.
It has side events too, like the tug-of-war, the sack race and other competitions. However, the main attraction is the Bilibili Race. Through the years, this annual race became a much anticipated event and tradition in the town of Sigatoka. Consequently, it is now celebrated on Fiji Day in the month of October.
The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management has participated in this event for the last 5 years and has had a successful involvement to date. Some of the awards from previous Bilibili races are as follows:
• 2015 Two-Man Kayak Race – first place
• 2015 Boardwalk – second place
• 2015 Ladies Waitress Relay – third place
• 2014 Managers’ Double Kayak – first place
• 2014 Coconut Tunnel – second place
• 2014 Waitresses’ Race – third place
• 2014 Single Kayak Relay – third place
Students raise money at USP’s Market Days to fund the event. The annual trip promotes team building and individual responsibility, builds confidence and individual skills in a team environment, fosters an ongoing professional networking relationship between the university and the industry, and enhances USP’s profile among hotels and other industry stakeholders.
Here are a couple of links below with regards to summaries of the 2014 and 2015 Bilibili Races:
‘Tourism and Hospitality Management Students Participate in the Bilibili Races’ (October 2015)
Available at: www.usp.ac.fj/news/story.php
‘A day at the “Bilibili Races”’ (October 2014)
Available at: www.usp.ac.fj/index.php