SPORTS

Women In Sports: Vocea Follows Mum’s Footsteps

The 21-year-old Drekeniwai, Cakaudrove native is a student at the University of the South Pacific.
20 Jun 2021 14:42
Women In Sports: Vocea Follows Mum’s Footsteps
Matila Vocea takes a selfie with her family at the Holiday Inn in Suva.

Growing up, Matila Georgina Vocea was surrounded by national netball reps.

She is following in her mother’s footsteps.

Her mother, Vasiti Vugakoto and her sisters Timaima and Tuipulotu were all national reps.

Vocea was one of two netballers selected for a PacificAus Sports Programme in Australia.

She and Ema Mualuvu were both members of the current national squad selected to be part of the Athlete Immersion programme.

They are now undergoing quarantine in Australia. They are going to play for Northern Mendi Rays in the Netball Queensland HART Sapphire Series.

The Rays are coached by former national netball head coach Vicki Wilson.

The 21-year-old Drekeniwai, Cakaudrove native is a student at the University of the South Pacific.

Her dad, Peceli Vocea, was Fiji’s Ambassador to the European Union and the Kingdom of Belgium, before he passed away in 2014.

She shares maternal links to Naigani in the Lomaiviti Group.

Vocea has three brothers and a sister.

The goal shooting ace is a member of the Lomaiviti club that participate in the Suva Netball Association’s club competition.

“Netball is a very important sport to me because it does not only teach me sports related knowledge but also lifelong lessons,” she said.

“I started playing competitive netball when I was 15-years-old.

“I knew I would always play netball because my mother is a netball player. My mum played for Fiji when she was 16 years old. So, I believe netball is in my blood.”

The former Suva Grammar School student will be playing competitive netball in the Australian competition that finishes in October.

“This selection means so much, I was extremely humbled when I found out that I was selected to be part of this new programme,” Vocea said.

“My expectation of this programme is that I will come out fitter than ever and also have more netball and life knowledge.

“I look forward to learning how to live independently during my stay in Townsville.

“During this experience I also am excited to be exposed on and off the court as it will contribute to my future plans.

“My advice to anyone who is dreaming to become a Fijian Pearl netball player is to never give up.

“When things get rough just know that God has a plan bigger than what you are planning.

“When one door closes God will open a bigger and better door for you. So keep the faith and keep going because at the end of the journey you will sit back and have no regrets,” Vocea added.

Former national reps that have played in similar competitions in the past are Matelita Shaw, Taraima Rara, and Mere Rabuka. They played for Sutherland Shire Netball.

Goal Attack Maria Lutua was the last recipient of this programme when she trained with the Sunshine Coast Lightning team in the Suncorp Super League Series.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj



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