SPORTS

Pioneer Skipper Tawake, First Rugby National For Her Family

Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua Bitila Tawake may be the second born in her family of five girls, but she has been a first for many things.
01 May 2022 15:38
Pioneer Skipper Tawake, First Rugby National For Her Family
Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua team after their win against the Waratahs. Bitila Tawake is holding the trophy.

Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua Bitila Tawake may be the second born in her family of five girls, but she has been a first for many things.

With her academic focused family, and her father a senior naval officer, Tawake, 23, has received her share of ear bashing to get her to where she is now – debut skipper of the SuperW winners 2022.

The pioneer skipper who plays prop (jersey no.3) is from Mualevu, Vanuabalavu in Lau with maternal links to Nukuloa, Gau in Lomaiviti.

 

She had attended Veiuto Primary and the Yat Sen Secondary. She has three units to complete her degree at the University of the South Pacific.

The Fijiana side are still the very much talked about team now following their winning streak in their first appearance in the SuperW.

“Bitila and her younger sister Kalesi are into sports, both have represented Fiji in basketball,” her mother Sereana Tawake said.

 

Kalesi is also a member of the Fijian Pearls as a non-travelling reserve. She plays Goal Defender and Goal Keeper.

“We knew she was also into rugby after joining her cousin to play for Marist.

Her father kept reminding her to focus on her education.

 

“Her break came when we moved to Australia for her father to further his studies. We moved there with the three younger girls.

“Bitila and her older sister stayed back as they were at university. That was her break.

“For 12 months she was into rugby.

 

“When we returned she continued playing behind our backs in the women’s competition, it was until we saw her on television playing for Naitasiri that she was caught.

“We sat her down again and reminded her that she needs to get her Marine Management degree. She was determined. When she was selected into the squad that was it, and then the Fijiana Drua.”

Her parents flew over to Melbourne to watch the SuperW final, the night before the match her father Humphrey Tawake (chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union) presented their jerseys.

 

“It was an emotional event, it was special because every individual that was given her jersey that night has a special story,” she said.

“The day they played the final was a special day for every Fijian, it was an enormous break through and an inspiration to many.”



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