SPORTS

FNRL Supports Player Group, Says CEO

The Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) has made a pledge to support the newly-formed Fiji Rugby League Players Association. The Fiji Bati Network of former and current players that will
11 Feb 2020 15:45
FNRL Supports Player Group, Says CEO
From left; Fiji National Rugby League acting CEO Don Natabe and Fiji Rugby League Players Association president Pio Kubuwai in Nadi on February 9, 2020. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) has made a pledge to support the newly-formed Fiji Rugby League Players Association.

The Fiji Bati Network of former and current players that will establish itself as a non-profit organisation with a sustainable business model like no other in the Pacific.

This was confirmed to SUNsports by FNRL acting chief executive officer Don Natabe.

“The organisation is the first for Fiji and will lead to the formation of other national bodies around the globe where Fijians play rugby league,” he said.

“Fiji NRL sees this initiative as a show of support to the new board.”

Natabe added the dynamics of rugby league continues to evolve and players have become an indispensable element of the game.

“FPRLA aims to care for the welfare of players before and after footy.

“We endeavour to establish a relationship with this new body that will serve purposes to support the KALAWA strategic plan,” he added..

“We appreciate the gesture by this body to come and seek affiliation and work with FNRL.

“They are looking at accessing young players through the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby league to provide a pathway for the next Bati players.”

SIMPLE MODEL

Fiji Rugby League Players Association president and doub international Pio Kubuwai said the Fiji Bati Network has consulted the NRL Rugby Players Association in establishing a simple model for Fiji Bati players who are current and former players.

Dubbed the Black Shark during his playing days, Kubuwai said the network will work in partnership with FNRL.

“This is in looking at how we can support the FNRL development unit under the guidance of FNRL management and the board.

“We will work in partnership with the Fiji National Rugby League in establishing a Fiji Bati Welfare support framework for current and former players. Support network for current and former Fiji Bati players in their development needs.”

Kubuwai said it includes establishing and maintaining a historical database of all current and former Fiji Bati players.

“Creating events in bringing together the Fiji Bati fraternity using a business model to create a sustainable membership framework.

“Creating a support framework for aspiring Fiji Bati Players via scholarships for education and connection to NRL clubs in Australia and NZ.

Historically, since 1992, a world-renowned brand of Fiji Bati reps was exposed to the world like Manoa Thompson, Etuate Waqa, Lee Nalagilagi, Orisi Cavuilati, Pio Kubuwai, Noa Nadruku, Veramu Dikidikilati, Wise Kativerata and Joe Dakuitoga.

Then came the modern day legends such as Petero Civoniceva, Lote Tuqiri, Jarryd Hayne, Wes Naiqama, Kelvin Naiqama, Semi Radradra, Marika Koroibete, Brandon Wakeham, and Maika Sivo to name a few.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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