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Fijiana forward promises to do her country proud in Sydney

    Naina Baleca played rugby with her three siblings and friends in front of their house in Koronivia, Nausori. Little did she know that at the age of 22
23 Jan 2018 11:00
Fijiana forward promises to do her country proud in Sydney
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s forward Naina Baleca (back- second from right) joins her team-mates as a fan takes a selfie at Nadi International Airport on January 22, 2018.Photo: Waisea Nasokia

 

 

Naina Baleca played rugby with her three siblings and friends in front of their house in Koronivia, Nausori.

Little did she know that at the age of 22 she would be making her World Sevens Series debut with the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team in this weekend’s Sydney 7s in Australia.

Baleca has taken on the challenge training hard under coach, Iliesa Tanivula, right through the festive season.

Tanivula said Baleca’s ball skills and height are something they are banking on to do wonders in Sydney.

“My target is to gain confidence while playing sevens internationally as I want to do my country proud,” she said.

“It has been my childhood dream as a kid while playing rugby in front of our home in Koronivia with my three brothers and other kids from the neighbourhood.”

Baleca was part of the Fijiana XVs team that played against Hong Kong at the Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers last year and later played for the Fijiana 7s side at the Oceania Sevens.

“I want more game time. There is a lot of competition out there among the girls but my aim is to stay fit at all time. I’m happy to be part of the team,” she said.

Interestingly, Baleca also represented the Fijian Under-19 netball team at the 2012 Trans Tasman competition in New Zealand, where she was the goal shooter.

“I was more into rugby than netball,” added the Naitasiri native who now plays for the Striders rugby club.

Looking to the future, Baleca plans to continue her studies at the Fiji Maritime Academy in Suva. She took a break from her studies last year after her family migrated to New Zealand.

 

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj




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