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Mother Of 4 Aims For Spot

Mother Of 4 Aims For Spot
Graduate Dr Kelesi Whippy with the staff from USP after the graduation on September 20,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.
September 05
11:28 2014

Most mothers spend their time working or looking after their children and hardly have any time for sporting activities.

But for Josephine Bavatu representing her country in sevens rugby has been a dream come true.

The 37-year-old has been back in Fiji after 30 years and is now a member of the Telecom Fijiana 7s squad who are currently preparing to leave for Hong Kong to play a qualifying tournament for the 2014-2015 IRB Women 7s World Series.

Not only does Bavatu work but she runs her own business and studies as well currently doing her Masters in Architecture and Heritage Conservation while juggling her duty as a mother raising four kids Raymond, Sweden, Marcya and Akuila.

Hailing from Moala and spending her childhood years in her maternal village of Naila, Bau, Tailevu, Josephine now resides in Sydney, Australia where she has played rugby, league and touch rugby.

She has played for Parramatta True Blues Womens Rugby Team and Waverley Women’s Rugby Union and currently manages and coaches the Fiji Ranadi Rugby team that has participated in the Coral Coast Sevens competition last year.

Playing rugby for a good few years, Bavatu  holds one element close to her heart which is getting women involved in sport, not just any sport, but rugby.

“I love breeding success in women and encouraging women in sport especially in rugby and just giving them that drive,” she said.

“You know being a woman you don’t have to play netball only, you can play rugby as well and seeing women grow in rugby is a favourite memory of mine.”

“I miss them (her kids), I was here for the first week of camp and went back because I run my own business over there too. And I study part time, so I juggle all those but to come here and represent my country is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“My mum and church members are looking after the kids so I can be here and God is allowing that opportuniy and I always believe that if you prepare yourself and take up opportunities you are always going to have success. I miss them but they know why I’m here.” she said smiling.

Now that she has been training with the Fijiana team for almost three weeks, she is confident she will bring a lot of good qualities she has picked up playing in Australia.

“On a team level I bring leadership, good friendship to the team and also with playing league for six or seven years I bring speed, I have a lot of speed to burn and skills as well that I can share with the team,” she said.

“It’s exciting being part of the Fijiana team, I’ve been away from Fiji nearly 30 years now and to come back and represent the country which I’ve been training hard for and to come and play here is truly a God-given dream.”

When asked about the Fijiana’s chances of qualifying for the 2014-2015 IRB Women 7s World Series, her response was nothing but positive and filled with confidence.

“We have a good chance of qualifying, I praise our coach, he has coached us pretty well for the last two weeks we have been getting smashed at traininig in fitness and skills-wise and we are ready to go and with God on our side there is no limit.”

Bavatu has gone far in supporting women in sport and says 7s rugby nowadays is not only a sport fit for men.

“I would love to have the whole country support women in rugby, you know women in sport are always undermined but it’s now an Olympic sport and it’s a community sport not just for men and I advocate for that.”

The one dream she would like to fulfill with Fiji is representing them at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

“Rio is my dream, being 37, I came in late but I’m just as fit as a 20-year-old and I don’t limit myself,” she said confidently.

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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