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Netball: Waqainabete Grateful

Talei Waqainabete, 21, is grateful to be part Fijian Pearls which departed yesterday for the European tour in Wales, The Keteira, Moala, Lau native, who plays at mid court, made
30 Sep 2017 13:15
Netball: Waqainabete Grateful
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with the Fijian Pearls netball team at the Holiday Inn Suva on September 28, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

Talei Waqainabete, 21, is grateful to be part Fijian Pearls which departed yesterday for the European tour in Wales,

The Keteira, Moala, Lau native, who plays at mid court, made her debut against South Africa in the second match of the Digicel/Punjas International Netball Series at the Vodafone Arena early this month.

“Excited and nervous, it’s all about getting exposure,” she said.

“A step up from the U21 team and learn as much as I can just like a sponge.

Waqanibete, who has maternal links to Nakida, Naitasiri, it has been a constant struggle all along.

“It was not easy for me as I was dropped in my first trial for the U21. “One thing I realised is hard work commitment will get you into the national team,”she said.

“I love playing netball.”

She moved to New Zealand in 2011 together with his dad, a doctor by profession, during the Christchurch earthquakes.

Waqainabete attended Burnside High after spending early high school at the St Joseph’s Secondary as she found her potential in the sport.

“Played netball since Year Nine she took it seriously in high school eager to make the Canterbury Flames team in Christchurch.

“I said to myself I am really good at this and it turns out that I love it,” she said.

She returned to Fiji in 2013 where she continued playing the sport.

“I did take some time off and concentrated on my studies.”

She is currently a first year studying law at the University of the South Pacific.

Tough tour for Sawana

Verenaisi Sawana knows she will face an uphill battle in the Europe tour.

But she is determined to make the run on team against Wales in the opening game.

“My objective is to be in the run on team and play my best,” said the Cautata, Bau, Tailevu native who has maternal links to Marou, Naviti, Yasawa.

“Sacrifice pays off me as most of my family members reside in Lautoka and I do train in Suva,” she said.

The 20-year old has been playing the sport since the Under-9 for Lautoka Primary School before moving to Natabua High.

She is expecting to further her education.

“After the Botswana tournament with the Baby Pearls, I opted to return to school.”

Her Mum Arieta Sawana represented Lautoka in netball.

She is the second eldest of five siblings.

Edited by Osea Bola

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