SPORTS

Cyclone Fails To Stop Steelers

In 2015 Cyclone Winston dashed the dream of a group of farmers and students of Toge Village in Ba. The dream was to play at the Fiji Bitter Marist Sevens
10 Mar 2018 11:00
Cyclone Fails To Stop Steelers
Veilomani Steelers rugby 7s will be making their debut at the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s.. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

In 2015 Cyclone Winston dashed the dream of a group of farmers and students of Toge Village in Ba. The dream was to play at the Fiji Bitter Marist Sevens tourna­ment.

They had been training together before disaster struck and most of the players lost their homes. For many it was the end of it but it was not to be for this group of rugby fa­natics who have called their team the Veilomani Steelers.

Head coach Meli Seru said three years after Cyclone Winston struck the men came together, where they decided to revive the team and make their dream come true.

This year, the Veilomani Steelers 7s side are among the new teams to feature in the 2018 Fiji Bitter Marist Sevens tournament which will be held at the ANZ Stadium, Suva on March 23-24.

The side compromised 15 farmers and five secondary school students who are confident of producing positive results in the two-day tour­nament.

Speaking to SUNsports, Seru said, they were looking forward to show­case their skills and talents.

“We always watch the Marist Sev­ens on television. In 2015 we decid­ed to form a team and to participate at the tournament but unfortunate­ly Winston struck and it really af­fected us.

“After three years we decided to revive the team and participate at the Marist Sevens. We have paid our registration fee of $600 and we collected the money from cash jobs done by the farmers and we also organised several fundraising drives,” Saru said.

Even though the team don’t have any prominent player, the coach is confident that with the learning ex­perience and exposure gained will have a positive impact on the play­ers.

“All these players will be playing at the ANZ Stadium for the first time and they are looking forward to play against some of the best teams in the country and it will be a great learning experience,” he said.

The team will continue to organise fundraising activities in the village to assist with their expenses while in Suva during the tournament.

Ba is renowned for producing some of the country’s top rugby sevens players like Gabirieli Nabo­risi, Filimoni Delasau, Pio Tuwai, Josua Tuisova and current Fiji Air­ways Fijian 7s utility back Waisea Nacuqu.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

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