SPORTS

Unforgettable

Australian rugby league superstar Billy Slater won’t be forgetting his recent family holiday in Fiji. The Melbourne Storm fullback stayed at the Plantation Island Resort in Yasawa and took to
10 Jan 2015 12:16
Unforgettable
Australian Rugby League legend Billy Slater with children from Solevu Village in the Yasawas.

Australian rugby league superstar Billy Slater won’t be forgetting his recent family holiday in Fiji.

The Melbourne Storm fullback stayed at the Plantation Island Resort in Yasawa and took to social media to share his experience meeting locals from Solevu Village.

Posting on his official Facebook page, the Queensland Maroons veteran was inspired the spirit of the people of Solevu and was particularly impressed with one young budding sports talent.

“While I was on our family holiday in Fiji recently we visited a village called Solevu.

“It was an inspiring visit as I saw this community didn’t have a great deal but made do with what they did have. We walked across the bindi-plagued football field to the school, where I was pleased to see they focused on being good people and respecting others by the signs they had up around the classrooms.

“I was fortunate enough to meet the chief and I presented him with a signed Queensland Maroons shirt. The passion for rugby league was evident when a handful of footy-mad kids (aged about 9 years) came up for a photo and soon we had a game of touch footy going.

“It was the Fijian kids and myself versus the other guys who came with us from the resort. The happiness on these boys’ faces was there for all to see, and it took me back to my childhood playing footy with my mates in the backyard.

“During our game I noticed this one boy who was immensely talented. He was in the right spot all the time and could really finish off a play. His name was Josua Nawaqa. Josua finished the game with four tries and deservingly received the man of the match.

“Before we departed we handed out a few pairs of footy shorts and shirts to the locals. My kids even gave one of their Christmas presents to some kids on the beach.

“This trip and my time in Fiji told me a few things about this place and their people.

  1. There is a huge rugby league following in this country;
  2. I’ve never met more happy, helpful and respectful people;
  3. Keep your eye out for young Josua in years to come.

“I’ll never forget my visit to Solevu. Myself and my family are better people for spending time with these people. Vinaka.”

Meanwhile, the chief of Solevu, Turaga Na Tui Lawa Ratu Sevanaia Vatunitu said his people felt privileged to have Slater visiting their village.

“He came to visit ‘Na Were Levu’ (the chiefly house) and really enjoyed it. The villagers were happy that a well-known sports personality like him visited the village for the first time. We’re very thankful to Bill for his donation and he assured us when he returns to Australia he won’t forget about his time here and would continue to do whatever he could to help the village in whatever way he could.”

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 




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