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Back To The Roots

Tears flowed freely when Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens playmaker and Olympic gold medal winner Vatemo Ravouvou arrived at his village of Muaira in Naviti, Yasawa yesterday. Ravouvou was accorded
01 Sep 2016 10:10
Back To The Roots
Fijian 7s men's rep Vatemo Ravouvou is lead by Tui Naviti Ratu Kitione Vuluma at Muaira village in Naviti, Yasawa yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Tears flowed freely when Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens playmaker and Olympic gold medal winner Vatemo Ravouvou arrived at his village of Muaira in Naviti, Yasawa yesterday.

Ravouvou was accorded a full traditional welcoming ceremony. He was escorted by Tui Naviti Ratu Kitione Vuluma and the procession was led by the traditional warriors as students of Naviti District School sat along the path that led to the village green.

Ratu Kitione welcomed Ravouvou and said he has not only earned praise for himself but also for his family.

He said the win in Rio has not only made Naviti or the Yasawa famous, but the country as a whole.

“The whole world witnessed their success and I’m personally present here to mark this special occasion,” Ratu Kitione said.

“I’m happy. Thank you, for that victory in Rio and the achievements you have made in rugby.”

A village elder Sevuloni Vakaobaravouvou in his presentation said that Ravouvou in English means Prince.

“This is only known among the British monarchs. We are proud that Ravouvou lived up to that and played in the Olympic Games as it is regarded as the pinnacle of sports.”

In his speech Ravouvou said the win at the Olympic Games was only made possible by their prayers.

“I’m grateful for what you have done for me today.

“Thank you for the support and all the prayers that enabled us to win. Without your support, me and the team won’t be able to make it,” he said.

“I did not expect to come here today to be part of this event but it is a must as this is where I’m originally from.”

Earlier on Ravouvou and his family were pampered on board the Awesome Adventures vessel. They arrived at the Barefoot Manta Island Resort where management and staff members hosted them.

Resort manager Robyn Heymans said they were honoured to host Ravouvou.

“The staff members from neighbouring villages and guests are overwhelmed and excited to be part of the event,” she said.

 

SYDNEY NEXT STOP

The wily first five eight indicated he is scheduled to depart for Australia on Sunday.

He is on a three months contract with the Western Sydney Rams in the 2016 Buildcorp NRC season. Ravouvou has scored 44 tries in the World Rugby Seven Series.

“My focus now is on the fifteens code playing first five-eighth for the Flying Fijians,” he said.

He had already penned his contract before departing for the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“This is a three months contract as the club competition in Sydney is now underway and John McKee is backing me up.

“There is a lot of first five eight around when it comes to the Flying Fijians but I will be out to make use of my chances,” he added.

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