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Korovulavula: Netball Need Visionary Leaders

Former Fijian Pearls goal shooter and assistant national Under-19 coach Filomena Korovulavula believes young players need to be guided in the right path in order to achieve success either in
08 Sep 2019 09:45
Korovulavula: Netball Need Visionary Leaders
Filomena Korovulavula during a gym session at the National Fitness Centre in Suva

Former Fijian Pearls goal shooter and assistant national Under-19 coach Filomena Korovulavula believes young players need to be guided in the right path in order to achieve success either in sports or in life.

The Bouma, Taveuni native, is a mother of two but had been passionately involved in netball as a player and coach for the past 20 years.

The 47-year-old also captained the national team that won a gold medal at the 2012 Pacific Mini Games in Cook Islands and also to other international and club level competitions.

Korovulavula is now fully committed in developing young players in the sport and guiding them to secure a career as professional players. She spoke to SUNsports about her achievements, experiences and challenges.

SUN: What’s your current position? How long have you been in this position?

KOROVULAVULA: I hold no position. I’m just a simple mother who does her domestic duties, but I put in the early hours of daily training and also the time to be present where and when needed to spread a good word and action about the sport of netball

SUN: What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? What are you most excited or passionate about?

KOROVULAVULA: I simply love netball. Playing, training, coaching and umpiring.

SUN: What are 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?

KOROVULAVULA: To play and be active in the sport for as long as I can be and to develop my coaching and umpiring skill. So as to impact more young players to learning and playing the game.

Maybe through that they learn some real life lessons that will make them better people.

SUN: What were you doing previously? Give me a brief on your sporting career.

KOROVULAVULA: Playing for Nasinu netball from 1999 to 2013.

Captained the team as we were unbeaten during the Interdistrict Championship and the MH Burns Philip tour for the year.

In 2014, I represented Fiji in the Test match against South Africa. Also captained the national netball team to win a gold medal at the Pacific Mini Games in Cook Islands.

At club level played for CBM before moving to Tagimoucia and then to Ablaze. This year I captained the Suva netball team and also coached the Fiji A side.

I’ve been coaching the Fiji Under- 19 and was the Secondary Schools assistant coach to Vicki Wilson for the Under-21 World Youth Netball, I also coached the Suva team.

SUN: Now if we can, I’d like to go way back for a little while. Where did you grow up?

KOROVULAVULA: I grew up in Taveuni and then to Nasinu and Suva.

SUN: Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are?

KOROVULAVULA: Not really I just put my life into the game what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life. Being healthy and active and develop the young players into becoming better persons

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?

KOROVULAVULA: Not really.

SUN: As an active woman involved in sports previously and now, how does you see or analyse the role of women in sports specifically in Fiji?

KOROVULAVULA: Women play a big role in sports especially in developing girls and guiding them into the best practices to follow to be better in sports and life ultimately.

It is as important as they want it to be real. Women are mothers of the nation so first and foremost they have to know this. Netball is just a sport.

Though some make money out of netball in Fiji it does not make much. Women in netball should keep this in their mind. It is no use being good all over and not being good role models to your own children.

SUN: When you think of the future or the kind of work you’ve talked about here, what gives you a sense of hope?

KOROVULAVULA: This is mostly just voluntary participation in a social activity that involves many individuals who are in their development stage.

They are developing physically, in education and so on.

One must keep this in mind all the time. Words and actions that we do can be absorbed by these youngsters and developing individuals. So it is important to act well and mean well so that your goodness filters through into their development.

SUN: What’s next for you in your work? What are you looking forward to?

KOROVULAVULA: It’s just a labour of love and I strive to keep up-skilling myself in this sport I love improvements at national level and people with better vision for how to progress the game leading us. We have lacked badly in this area. Netball deserves better.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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