Rugby | SPORTS

Girls Had To Pick And Sell Coconuts So They Could Play, Says Coach Varo

The Yasawa High School Under-18 girls rugby team had to pick and sell coconuts to help fundraise for their travel expenses to play in Lautoka.
12 Aug 2022 11:08
Girls Had To Pick And Sell Coconuts So They Could Play, Says Coach Varo
Yasawa High School Under-18 girls rugby team after their Weet-Bix Raluve match against Jasper Williams High School at Churchill Park on August 6, 2022. Photo: Sereana Salalo

The Yasawa High School Un­der-18 girls rugby team had to pick and sell coconuts to help fundraise for their travel ex­penses to play in Lautoka.

They competed in the first round of the Weet-Bix Raluve Trophy Western Zone competition at Lau­toka’s Churchill Park, last Satur­day.

The team travelled by the tourist ferry Yasawa Flyer from Naviti, in the Yasawa group.

This showed the interest and passion these girls have for rugby head coach Vitale Varo said.

 

They lost 17-0 to Jasper Williams High School in their opener but are grateful that they are able to play in a girl’s competition.

“Coming from Yasawa, it wasn’t easy; the travel by sea was so long,” Varo said.

“We are challenged financially, these girls had to pick coconuts, in order for them to pay their fares, it had to be a team effort with the teachers. The support from par­ents was good, they pitched in for the fundraising drive, getting these girls together and it was the first time, so we are working very hard on it.”

Despite the lack of resources, the team are inspired by fellow Yasawa women like Laisana Likuceva and Vasiti Solikoviti who were part of the Fijiana 7s team that won the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“It was pretty hard, most of them have never played rugby before,” Varo said.

“They were pretty excited; it was the first time for most of them to come to Lautoka.

 

“We had to teach them the basics, like ball carrying– as seen in the game but they were not up to stand­ard, as was their defence. They are still learning.”

The Ysawa High School girls trained for about three weeks on the sandy shores in Naviti.

“We were training for the 10s com­petition and after two weeks they told that it would be a 15s compe­tition, so there were less numbers.

“We had to go to the netball team and asked them to allow some girls to play rugby.”

Yasawa High School will take on Ba Provincial Free Bird Institute in Lautoka next Saturday.

Feedback: sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj



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