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‘Doing Country Proud Our Aim’

Fiji might not have the facilities compared to the other countries yet the Baby Pearls competed well with the best in the world. Skipper Episake Kahatoka said the desire to
21 Jul 2017 11:37
‘Doing Country Proud Our Aim’
Baby Pearls skipper Episake Kahatoka is flanked by her family at the Nadi International Airport on July 20, 2017. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Fiji might not have the facilities compared to the other countries yet the Baby Pearls competed well with the best in the world.

Skipper Episake Kahatoka said the desire to represent Fiji with pride was what motivated them to finish fourth at the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana.

“We do not have the facilities compared to other countries but it did not matter as we aim to do our country proud,” she said.

“Before we left we had set a target to be in the top eight but we came out in the top four and it is a huge achievement. The girls were overwhelmed when we won the quarterfinals so this can set a standard for the 2021 Netball World Youth Cup in Suva.

She said the coach and the management have been pushing them to be at their best on and off the court.

“The girls have gone through tough training and I am so thankful for the girls for their hard work in the last two weeks.

She thanked the Government, Fiji National Sports Commission, Digicel and Punjas for sponsoring them since the qualifying round in New Zealand last year.

“Our parents and fans have been phenomenal,” Kahatoka said.

Her mother Ilisapeci Navunisinu thanked the Lord for the guidance and blessing for the family.

“It was her dream to play in the NWYC since she returned from England,” she said.

“I told her that she can achieve anything is she puts God first.”

Interestingly her mum played in the same position of GK but only limited for the Nadroga team during her time.

Kahatoka hails from Batiri, Nadroga and has maternal links to Yaroi, Matuku, Lau.

The Baby Pearls lost 70-35 to England in the bronze medal match after beating Uganda 39-37 in the quarterfinals.

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