SPORTS

Olympic Dreams Alive

Speaking to Sun sports the Australian born Fijian said the car scam incident was a lesson similar to her rugby career.
04 Jan 2021 10:47
Olympic Dreams Alive
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s player and Olympic Games hopeful Mereseini Leivere during a training session with the Fijiana 7s team. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Don’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get the same can be said for Fijiana 7s player Mereseini Leivere.

From being the latest car scam victim in Australia to obtaining her dual citizenship tomorrow, Leivere ambitions to represent Fiji is relentless.

Now the Nagado, Nadi native is one step away from achieving her goals, she was part of the Fijiana 7s team that played at the Oceania 7s tournament but was not eligible to play.

Speaking to Sun sports the Australian born Fijian said the car scam incident was a lesson similar to her rugby career.

“I was just trying to get my story out there so that people are aware of scams so people learn from my mistakes,” she said.

“I guess it’s the same with rugby when I got the opportunity to head over and trial for the team that were so many barriers that I have to overcome with obstacles and trials that I had to go through.”

“For the girls back here the dream to even go and play at the Olympics or to go play for Fiji or their country is open they can just ask and I will guide them to the right directions.”

“I was hoping to buy a car to help me to and fro to help me with transportation and ship it to Fiji to help me while I’m training leading to the Olympics.

“I believe once you make it you should turn around and help someone up” that’s the key to success”

The 28 year-olds journey was not an easy one as she had to juggle work and training.

“I started my journey as part of the Fijiana squad back in 2017-2018,” he said.

“Olympic was not part of my plans at the time but growing up it was because I was a sprinter so when I joined the Fijiana 7s side then I realized after I made my debut I was one step closer to making my personal dreams and goals achievable.

“But in terms of me doing it on my own people may not know this but for me to represent Fiji I have to be a Fijian citizen and being born and raised in Australia I’m Australian on paper. Last year before the girls qualified for the Olympics after the Oceania playoffs I was not eligible to play even though coach wanted to select me in the side but I couldn’t otherwise our team would be disqualified because I wasn’t eligible to play.

I knew from then till now that I have to become a Fijian citizen and I ‘ve been working on that with COVID 19 happening it was a blessing in disguise for me because I saw it as more time for me to work on Fiji citizenship just before the Olympic Games.

I’m a dual citizen now on the 5th of January 2021 I will be heading down to the embassy so I can do my passport so I can be eligible to join the squad.”It is important for me one thing is to represent Fiji as a Fijian but it is another thing to represent Fiji and like Australian Fijian not born and raised in Fiji. It sets a lot of boundaries, heaps of pressure for me.

It will set a different bench mark if I was to achieve it which I’m hoping to.”

Experience

“So good I joined the squad three years ago but I have been in out like not making the team selections, work and getting injured.I finally got my breakthrough at the end of 2019 where I debut at the HSBC Dubai 7s.

Right from the day I joined the squad to leaving, half way giving for me now is resetting my goals and refilling my fire.

The bond with the girls is always been the same they are like my sisters we are communicating daily. We have a good relationship.

At the moment it’s offseason here for both codes 15’s and 7s rugby so I’ve enjoying some down time. Training here is a lot different than training back at home in Fiji because here I’m doing it by myself and other friends that invested in my dreams more than me so they push me along because they are striving for the Wallaroos to make it to the rugby world cup in the Aussie side. Training for 15s and 7s is a whole lot of different game.”

I was raised by mum because they were separated with my dad but she has a beautiful partner that always provided and supported me.

I’ve seen my mum struggled a lot and that is why I like to be ambitious, like challenges and do things that people think I’m not capable of doing not only to prove them but to prove myself wrong.

I believe greatness happens outside of your comfort zone so that is one thing that I always keep with me.Every day is a new day to reset my goals and push forward with life.If Fiji opens the borders and there is a flight that comes and I have my passport then I can leave straight away.To be honest I did not know what 7s rugby was and I did not know that it was played in the last Olympic Games.When the boys won from Rio and the girls were there as well I didn’t even know that 7s rugby existed.Now I’m obsessed with 7s rugby and my aim is to make it to the Olympics this year.”

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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