My Daughter Took Heed Of My Words: Dad

The 21-year old was one of the four players who have never played in the HSBC World Sevens Series nor been out of the country on a plane.
03 Aug 2021 13:41
My Daughter Took Heed Of My Words: Dad
Team Fiji women’s rugby sevens team winger, Laisana Likuceva escapes a Brazilian player during their last pool match on July 30, 2021. Photo: World Rugby. Inset: Malelili Ratuvuki

Malelili Ratuvuki was among the proudest parents of our Team Fiji women’s rugby sevens team on Saturday night.

This was after his daughter, Laisana Likuceva and members of the 7s team clinched the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

They defeated Great Britain, 21-12 in the bronze medal final.

The 21-year old was one of the four players who have never played in the HSBC World Sevens Series nor been out of the country on a plane.

Ratuvuki said Likuceva would only dream of this and he was overjoyed with her performance.

He told SUNsports yesterday that Likuceva grew up playing netball and athletics, which started back in Ratu Meli Memorial School in Nacula, Yasawa.

She shares maternal links to Yadua Island, Bua.

Speaking from Nacula, yesterday, Ratuvuki said Likuceva always dreamt of two things, one was to be a police officer and to fly in a plane.

“Likuceva was mostly interested in athletics, starting here in Ratu Meli before she joined Jasper Williams High School,” he said.

“She represented Jasper at the Coca-Cola Games in the track and long jump, where she had a gold, silver and a bronze medal during her high school years.

“When she started playing rugby, I never stopped her.

“While she was studying at University of Fiji, Lautoka, she said that she wanted to leave and focus on her rugby.

“This was when she was playing for Yasawa in the Vanua and the Skipper Cup competition.

“I gave her the freedom to choose what she wanted, told her that if this is your decision then do it with all your heart.

“This is because we all have our calling. If we do not have a good education background and rugby could be a good way to earn as we have seen nowadays.

“I thank God for bringing her this far and for participating in the pinnacle of the Games – I know she took heed of my words to play to the fullest when she shifted her focus entirely to rugby,” Ratuvuki added.

He said their village beat drums on the night of the bronze medal win including the beating of the traditional lali by the chief of Nacula, the Turaga Tui Drola.

Likuceva is the second youngest of four siblings.

She was one of the outstanding players in the 2020 Skipper Cup comp that caught the eyes of national 7s coach, Saiasi Fuli.

Plans and arrangements for a feast are in place upon her return as she is the first woman from Nacula village in Yasawa to don the national colours.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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