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Fiji Sun


Breaking In New League

Breaking In New League
July 23
11:24 2017

Josephine ‘Jossy’ Bavatu is proud to be the first Fiji-born woman playing professional National Rugby League (NRL) club after joining Cronulla Sharks this season.

“I see this as a great opportunity for me and also an eye opener for other Fijian girls out there.

“I know there are a lot of talents out there, even here in Australia but these women need to grow the interest of the sport and compete,” Bavatu said.

“This is the first season where women got contracted and playing professionally with only eight clubs represented and I’m proud to be part of this,” she added.

She played alongside Ruan Sims, who is the eldest sister of Vodafone Fijian Bati internationals Ashton, Korbin and Tariq Sims and was also the captain of the Sharks.

The 40-year-old hails from Naroi, Moala, Lau but was born and raised in Naila, Bau, Tailevu by her late mother Mereani Masivou who died in 2015.

She attended Dravo District School from Year One to Eight and continued her education at Lelean Memorial School as Year Nine student in 1989 and it was the same year when she moved to Australia with her mother.

The winger believes all challenges were her learning experience as she tries to succeed and be good role model to her four children. As a single mother Jossy sees rugby as a passion.

“I was brought up in a single parent family and a I know the challenges we go through and now that I’m a single mother to my four children is a blessing.

“Playing both codes is passion and I want to be that role model for other women to be elite players,” she added.

Bavatu dedicates her achievement to her four children and her mother.

“My kids support me in my rugby and sports pursuits and I dedicate all these achievement to my late mother,” she added.

Bavatu juggles her career in rugby league with fulltime work as senior town planner for Calibre Consulting, running her family business and raising her four children, Raymond(21),Sweden(18), Marcya(16) and Akuila Fugawai(14).

While her focus was playing for the Sharks, Bavatu aspires to represent NSW in the 2018 State of Origin and to play rugby league for either Australia or Fiji.

“My message to our Fijian women is if I can do it, so can they. I’m just 40 and I’m just scratching the surface and hitting my peak.

“My next step is to continue with Sharks next year, make State of Origin in 2018.”

She played her lone game for the season against Manly Sea Eagles where they won 18-4. The Sharks ended winning the series recording seven out of eight games.

“It was a good season for me, good learning experience and hopes to move a level up next year.”

Earlier in the year Bavatu was applauded by former Vodafone Fijian Bati captain Petero Civoniceva for her commitment and dedications towards the sport during the Annual Petero Civoniceva Medal and Awards night.


Commonwealth Games

Sky is the limit for Bavatu as she aims to don the Fijiana jumper in the 2018 Commonwealth Games next year. She missed out for the 2016 Rio Olympics selection after sustaining a collar bone injury but is eager for 2018.

“Also my heart is still set for representing Fijiana in the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” she added.

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