Tough it Out, Set Goals, Enjoy Life

The most life-challenging experience apart from growing up in a broken family would be that transition of growing up in the village then moving to Suva - Episake Kahatoka
02 Mar 2019 11:47
Tough it Out, Set Goals, Enjoy Life
Episake Kahatoka taking a break after the first Fijian Pearls trials for the 2019 Netball World Cup at the National Gymnasium. Photo: Grace Narayan

Inspired by the late American business magnate Steve Jobs quote “The only way to do great is to love what you do” is what keeps Fijian Pearls goal defender Episake Kahatoka on track with her life.

The 23-year-old Batiri, Nadroga native who is also a Police Constable had previously captained the Baby Pearls at the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup in Botswana.

And she is confident of making the final squad for this year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.

Kahatoka shares her life experiences, chal­lenges and achievements.

SUN: What’s your current position? How long have you been in this position? Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?

EPISAKE: I’m a Police Constable stationed in Lami and graduated in the first batch of 2017.

SUN: What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? What are you most ex­cited or passionate about? What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work? Not so much the goals that are in your job de­scription, but the goals you hold personally?

EPISAKE: I would say I find the challenges I go through in my daily life is what keeps me going and motivated.

Especially at work I’m in a department that is called community policing and I was part of it last year but I got pulled back to the Uni­form Branch (UB) which involves hugely on interacting with youths and giving back to the community.

At the moment I’m still recovering from my knee injury and would love to make the Fijian Pearls squad for the World Cup. Also, I’m working on my fitness at the same time.

SUN: Give me a brief on your sporting career. EPISAKE: Previously I was involved in rugby 15s for the Nadroga club.

SUN: Where did you grow up, countries that you have been to doing work and what was that like?

EPISAKE: I grew up in my grandmother’s village in Nadrala, Nadroga.

And my parents divorced when I was five-months old and my grandmother brought me up until I completed primary school.

Then my father took the responsibility to look after me since then. Countries I’ve been to are Wales and Botswana, Australia com­peting in netball.

In 2016 I was contracted to play for Celtic Dragons netball franchise club in Wales for 6 months, which was a great exposure for me.

And followed by in 2017 I captained the Un­der- 21 Baby Pearls side for the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana. Not forgetting my recent international outing in the 2018 Com­monwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

SUN: Did you have any key mentors or peo­ple who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life?

EPISAKE: My grandmother and mother are my two greatest mentors.

I’m been deeply influenced by her love for netball as she only represented at province level so I’m fortunate to have managed to go beyond that and being able to represent at national level. Also, my coach Vicki Wil­son and the Fiji Netball staff members for always encouraging and pushing me to give going for higher heights.

SUN: Did you have any life-changing experi­ences and challenges that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing to­day?

EPISAKE: Tell me about them. For me the most life-challenging experience apart from growing up in a broken family would be that of making the transition of growing up in the village then moving to to Suva an urban centre. It was quite a challenge to adapt to the way of life here.

Also, before joining the police I was en­rolled at USP to compete my Bachelors which I wasn’t successful in and later be­coming a policewoman happens to give me no reason to regret about my decision.

SUN: As active women involved in sports previously and now, how do you see or ana­lyze the role of women in sports specifically in Fiji and how important is it to encourage more women taking up roles in various sporting fed­erations?

EPISAKE: Girls and women who play sports have higher levels of confidence and self-es­teem and lower levels of depression.

And they also have a more positive body image and experience higher state of psy­chological well-being than girls and women who do not play sports. So, I feel it’s a posi­tive sign to see more woman involvement recently both in the sporting field and the administration side too.

SUN: When you think of the future of the kind of work you’ve talked about here, what gives you a sense of hope? What’s next for you in your work?

EPISAKE: What are you looking forward to? The only thing that gives me a sense of hope for the future is to continue with my hardwork both in professional and sporting career.

I feel it’s a challenge trying to balance both accordingly but it’s worthwhile. And as far as my future sporting career is concerned I hope to secure a contract in one of the inter­national netball clubs.

Edited by Osea Bola


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