SPORTS

Rugby Club Changing Perceptions In Qauia

Back in the 1970s catching a taxi to Qauia at night was almost an impossible thing to do. Not so much because of the poor road conditions. Taxi drivers feared
22 Nov 2015 11:00
Rugby Club Changing Perceptions In Qauia
Qauia Rugby Club team together with Westpac staff after the morning walk from Albert Part to Nasese yesterday. PHOTO:LITIA CAVA

Back in the 1970s catching a taxi to Qauia at night was almost an impossible thing to do.

Not so much because of the poor road conditions. Taxi drivers feared for their lives as Qauia was known as the territory for some of Fiji’s hardened criminals.

It was a time when criminal activities thrived in the Lami settlements with the so-called mafia styled “Qauia Mixed Brigade” (QMB) in control.

Over the years, life has always been tough in Qauia as memories of its dark past linger on in the minds of people – for some, it still haunts them today.

With nowhere to turn to, the Qauia elders sought the assistance of a number of churches and the Fiji Police Force.

The aim was to get young people in the area engaged in social activities. This led to the formation of the Qauia Rugby Club.

“The club was formed three years ago and played under the Naitasiri Rugby Union competition in Samabula,” Orisi Matakasa said.

He is one of the pioneers of the club.

“We later switched to the Suva Rugby Union competition last year and were promoted to play in the Koroturaga Cup this year. Our aim is to make it to the Premier grade.”

The Suva bank officer said rugby was a way to keep their youths occupied, stay away from drugs, stay away from the over consumption of kava and other criminal activities.

“We see rugby as an employment opportunity for young people which will also help mould them to become better citizens even if they are still without jobs.”

Fiji Police Force Southern Community Youth co-ordinator Inspector Ravu Dansey said such sporting initiative has brought a lot of positives in their work to combat crime.

“In our records Qauia is still considered a red zone.

“The rugby team along with other organised social activities has contributed to the well-being of the residents in the settlement.”

“It’s not going to happen overnight. We not only need the support of Government but from churches, nearby communities and the business sector as well.

“Things like tackle bags, hit shields, water racks and bottles, balls and if anything bigger, a gym -the youths need to boost their sporting careers,” he said.

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj




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