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Down Not Out

Down Not Out
Fijian Under-21 squad members prepare for training at the Vodafone Arena. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga
May 07
16:02 2017

While most of the players in the Fiji netball Under-21 team will be fighting for a spot to the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana, Julie Tamani will be trying to get back on her feet.

The 17-year-old from Navunimono, Verata, Tailevu who was part of the U21 squad who went to the World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand last year will not continue her journey with the team when they leave for Botswana in July.

Tamani is currently suffering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which she got during the Super League in December last year when she represented the Satellite Divas.

ACL is one of the key ligaments that helps stabilise the knee joint. It connects the thighbone to the shinbone and is most commonly torn during sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction.

“This is my first knee injury, I remember catching the ball and landing awkwardly on my leg, it happened so fast, all I remember was that I went down,” Tamani said.

“I wasn’t in so much pain, I just felt unstable and felt I could not play so I sat out for most of my games. This is probably one of the worst injuries an athlete could get.

“I remember when I was chosen to be part of the U21 squad last year, I was honoured to be chosen and it was my first time to represent my country.

“I was glad because I gained more experience and I toughened up a lot being with the team while at the same learning new things and play with girls I don’t usually play with.”

Awaiting details of surgery, Tamani has been going through rehab and still doing light training with the U21 squad.

Though she is ruled out from the team to the Netball World Youth Cup, she said she was upset at first but being a firm Christian she is putting her faith in the Lord to bring her back to playing netball at a professional level.

“It has been my ultimate dream to play in the Fiji Pearls, I think it is every girl’s dream who plays netball,” she said.

“At first I felt down that I wouldn’t be part of the team going to the World Cup but I am a Christian and I think this is a trial of faith for me.

“I think it is the Lord teaching me to have faith and trust in Him. I believe in Him so I guess I just thank Him for the plans in my life.

“I know that if one door closes another one opens and as an athlete I have to accept the fact that injury is a part of life.

“Surgery is yet to be confirmed, I have an appointment next week with my orthopaedic but right now I am just doing rehabs and trying to strengthen my Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO) muscles.”

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