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Rio Olympics, SPORTS


Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens forward Semi Kunatani, middle, with young fans at the Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil yesterday. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva.
August 19
11:33 2016


The Olympic Games men’s rugby sevens gold medal winners Fiji took time out to be part of an outreach programme with disadvantaged children at the Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro,  Brazil yesterday.

The Ben Ryan coached-side worked together with the host Rio Rugby Club for children and rugby lovers to play and meet their rugby heroes on the beach.

Speaking to SUNsports, rugged forward Semi Kunatani who is dubbed ‘The Beast’ said he liked the programme and really enjoyed his day.

“It’s awesome to be out and about in a foreign country and I enjoy moments like this where you play rugby with these unfortunate kids on the beach,” he said.

“Most of these kids grew up in the same area so this is a very special to them. Now I’m looking forward to going back home and take some rest.”

Joining Kunatani at the programme was captain, Osea Kolinisau, Leone Nakarawa, Jasa Veremalua, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Viliame Mata and manager Ropate Kauvesi.

“Their presence was a blessing to the young kids of the Rio Rugby Club as they had a chance of learning a few rugby sevens techniques and skills. And what topped it of is that they learned from the champions themselves,” club representative Archie Watts-Farmer said.

“In our club, we do project for kids in this falevela area we always train here every Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“These kids have gone through a lot of struggles in life. So when I asked the Fijian sevens team management if they could come and train with us, they agreed and this is such a great opportunity to actually get these kids out of their difficult situation.”

Kauvesi said it was a positive programme for the team as they were able to touch the lives of these children as they got the opportunity to their rugby stars in person.

 Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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