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Opinion, Opinion

Manueli, Fiji’s Rugby Ambassador

Manueli, Fiji’s Rugby Ambassador
From left: Ajay Bhai Amrit, Manueli and Mother.
August 08
20:02 2015

Manueli Rauqeuqe an unassuming and humble 13-year-old school boy from the Sugar City of Lautoka recently entered a competition which was held by DHL the international courier and logistics company and won a lifetime trip to the U.K.

This was not the only prize on offer, in fact the trip to the U.K. was not even the main prize as DHL put a package together which would be the envy of all sports lovers.

The main prize itself is to travel to Twickenham the home ground of the England Rugby Team and where the opening match of the Rugby World Cup will commence on September 18, 2015 at 8pm in the evening and deliver the match ball onto the pitch, placing it in the centre of the field in front of over 80,000 rugby spectators and millions upon millions of watching fans on television.

To add to this the opening match of the Rugby World Cup is featuring England Vs Fiji, so what better prize than delivering the match ball on the opening game and for your country’s first game of the competition.

Manueli took a chance and wrote in to win the prize and thought no more about it until a few weeks later when he was called in as one of the shortlisted candidates.

After a few more interviews he was selected as the lucky winner and it was a dream come true for the young school student.

His mother Lelea Elenoa and his father Sailosi Senikuba were over the moon for their son to win a trip like this and to say that young Manueli was surprised to win was an understatement in itself.

Manueli’s mother will be accompanying him on his long journey across to the U.K and he will get a chance to visit all the attractions there as well as enjoy the atmosphere of the tournament.

After spending time with this young man I could see why he was the perfect choice as the winner of the competition. His favourite sport is obviously rugby and his favourite player is Aaron Smith who plays for the Super Rugby franchise The Highlanders in the position of Number 9, the half-back, he also represents the New Zealand All Blacks in this position.

Manueli is a Year Eight student at Drasa Avenue School in Lautoka and plays in the same position as his favourite player, Aaron Smith, and dons on the Number 9 jersey for his school. He also represents Lautoka in the same position.

Mark Komene, country manager DHL said when he selected Manueli for the prize he was definitely a worthy winner as his humble personality and passion for the game came through in the interview.

Gary Edstein, the senior vice- president Oceania added to this on his recent trip to Fiji saying, “He is certainly a fine example and a great young Ambassador for Fiji”.

Finally it is nice to see a young student from a small school in Lautoka being exposed to such a positive and once-in-a lifetime opportunity.

Manueli’s mother, who is accompanying him throughout his trip in the U.K commented, “This opportunity is a dream come true and one Manueli and his family will never forget; none of us would ever think a simple boy like Manueli would ever get a chance to be part of this sporting event”

Well dreams do come true and I am sure we all wish Manueli the best on this journey to deliver the match ball on the opening game of the Rugby World Cup 2015.

– The writer is a Fiji Sun columnist.



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