SPORTS

‘I’m Honoured, Blessed’

  Vasiti Baleilomaloma, 18, has made her parents proud after securing a scholarship to study and play in the United States. The Nasaqalau, Lakeba, Lau native has been offered a
08 Feb 2016 10:48
‘I’m  Honoured, Blessed’
Vasiti Baleilomaloma (with ball), and members of the Vatuwaqa Volleyball Association team. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

 

Vasiti Baleilomaloma, 18, has made her parents proud after securing a scholarship to study and play in the United States.

The Nasaqalau, Lakeba, Lau native has been offered a two-year sports scholarship to attend the New Mexico Military Institute.

“I’m honored, happy and blessed to be chosen and at the same time I’m starting to have that feeling of missing my family.

“I loved playing volleyball when I was a young girl. I used to accompany my father Jone Baleilomaloma when he was with the Fiji Volleyball Federation to all the games when I was attending Veiuto Primary School.

“I go out and play volleyball because it calms me down and make me relax.

“I started with the Vatuwaqa Volleyball Association and I trained with the Kulawai in their preparation for their tour to Vietnam in 2011.

“When I was in Form 4 I was selected for the 2013 Pacific Mini Games where we won bronze and also took part in last year’s Pacific Games,” Vasiti said.

Proud mother Jiutiti Baleilomaloma described her daughter as a quiet and shy girl.

“We’re really proud of her, we weren’t that surprise because she comes from a sporting background. My cousins are Flying Fijians captain Akapusi Qera and the Vugakoto netball sisters.

“We are humble, overwhelmed with the support from our families and friends especially Sereima Turova, Sainimili Roqica the Fiji Volleyball Federation, coach Varanisese Logavatu, trainer Emori Bakewa and most of all her Vatuwaqa teammates.

“My advice to parents is never to give up on your children and encourage them to be involved in sports.

Fiji Volleyball Federation president Taitusi Naiduki said with the full support of her parents, getting the scholarship was a reward for Vasiti’s commitment.

“The scholarship is to assist talented athletes reach their sporting potential. Vasiti is a keen sportsperson who started playing volleyball at a very young age.

‘Given her athleticism combined with good academic results she had the edge over many other candidates.”

Agatha Gibbons and Mere Serea also attended New Mexico Military Institute under the same scholarship.

Vasiti, who has maternal links to Tubou, Lakeba, Lau is the eldest of five siblings.

Edited by Osea Bola

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