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Club Offers Hope to Jobless Youths

Many that watched the New Dawn rugby sevens team during the Martintar tournament in Nadi last weekend wondered where they were from. Staying true to its name, this club offers
23 Mar 2016 12:50
Club Offers Hope to Jobless Youths
New Dawn rugby club of Lautoka during the 3rd Martintar 7's at Prince Charles park in Nadi last weekend. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Many that watched the New Dawn rugby sevens team during the Martintar tournament in Nadi last weekend wondered where they were from. Staying true to its name, this club offers a glimmer of hope to the lives of young people, who are trying hard to earn a decent living and be successful in life.

New Dawn Rugby Club is made-up of unemployed youths living in Kashmir, Natabua, Waiyavi, Tomuka, Naikabula and Natokawaqa in Lautoka.

“The forming of the club was aimed to occupy these youths rather than to leave them doing nothing where they could get involved in criminal activities,” said coach Taniela Kepa.

“I believe that sevens rugby is the gateway for most of them where they could get recognise and be able to get a living. We’ve seen what sevens rugby has done to Waisale Serevi, Seremaia Burotu and now Masivesi Dakuwaqa.”

After dying a natural death in 2014, the club was revived last year.

“The boys visited me and asked if I could start the club again. Actually I had lost interest but then I had to reconsider it, for the sake of these youths. Also I saw the importance of developing them spiritually and help mould them to become better citizens.”

Kepa said they have not looked back since then and have gone on to play in the Vitogo 7s and also as Duiyasana RC in this year’s Lautoka Rugby Union’s 10s competition. And for now they are back training to prepare for the Saunaka 7s, which kicks-off on April 9..

Despite losing all their pool games during the Martintar Sevens, Kepa says, that is not a concern as they know it will take time to develop a winning team.

“Last week was a big break for the boys and right now we are on the right track and will soon be the team to be reckoned with,” he added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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