Opinion | SPORTS

Pastor Tagituimua In Sapporo To Wrap Up Prep For Our Men

The senior players and officials made plans for him to be in Sapporo before tomorrow’s crucial clash against the Wallabies
20 Sep 2019 15:46
Pastor Tagituimua In Sapporo To Wrap Up Prep For Our Men
Pastor Tagituimua in Sapporo, Japan

Opinion:

Spiritual preparation is an important aspect of any Fijian sporting teams.

That is from the national level, right down to the grassroots.

We hit the headlines in 1997 when the Waisale Serevi captained- side won the Sevens Rugby World Cup in Hong Kong, after they wrote the Bible verse Philippines 4:13, on their jersey.

Then a few years later, the Fiji National Rugby League did away with the traditional war dance which they usually perform before any Test match, as they opted to sing the hymn ‘Oqo noqu masu (This is my prayer)’.

Even TV commentators on the HSBC World Sevens Series have used terms like religious or God-fearing people when referring to the Fijians.

It has become our brand and definitely we’re proud of it.

What many don’t realise is that spiritual training is part of our upbringing.

It is ingrained in us and it put us on the right frame of mind, boosts our confidence level to go and do the impossible.

For us any amount of preparation with high technical expertise would mean nothing if there is no spiritual aspect of it.

With a day to go before their Rugby World Cup opener against Australia, the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians are now going through their spiritual preps.

Senior players have made sure that Pastor Ilaitia Tagituimua flew into Sapporo, Japan on Wednesday to await their arrival from Abashiri, yesterday afternoon.

A former soldier, Tagituimua is someone who works behind the scene in preparing the players for the task ahead.

And he always prefers to stay on the background.

He has been involved with the Vodafone Fijian Bati players since the 2008 Rugby League World Cup in Australia, where they reached the semi-final for the first time.

He has mentored and counselled former and current NRL stars like Jayson Bukuya, Ashton Sims, Kevin Naiqama, Jarryd Hayne, Semi Radradra, Vili Kikau, Tui Kamikamica and the list goes on.

Tagituimua is no stranger with the Flying Fijians, as he is a close associate of lock Leone Nakarawa.

He had helped in the spiritual preparation of the Flying Fijians before their first Maori All Blacks clash where the Dominiko Waqaniburotu-led side won 27-10.

Tagituimua missed out on the Pacific Nations Cup as he was away in London for a month but arrived in time for the Flying Fijians farewell church service at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

Delivering the message of reassurance to the Flying Fijians contingent and their family members, the senior players and officials made plans for him to be in Sapporo before tomorrow’s crucial clash.

This is a must if we are to do well in Japan.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedbackleonec@fijisun.com.fj

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