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Fiji Time: 5:38 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Of Sharks and 7s

Ilaitia Turagabeci
Monday, October 17, 2011

WHEN the Somosomo Sharks run on to the pitch, they are actually playing for more than the prize.

They're running for the Gone mai Wai, the child from the sea, the shark-child from whom comes their lineage ù the chiefly clan of the Ai Sokula, from where the paramount chief of Caukadrove, the Gone Turaga na Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu ù is from.

These rugged players from Taveuni train hard, swim hard and are proud of what they stand for.

Team spokesman Ratu Jekesoni Yavala said they played to promote shark conservation and support efforts to turn Fiji's waters into a shark sanctuary.

"We have a very strong link to the shark in our yavusa," said Ratu Jekesoni.

"The Gone mai Wai travelled from Ra, Verata, Bua to Cakaudrove. When a set of twins was born, one was a human and one was a shark.

"The human was Ro Kevu (man), from him came our clan, the Ai Sokula."

The child was brought up by Maika Vuila and was later ordained as the paramount chief at a time when there was none.

In Somosomo to this day, the people of the Ai Sokula are referred to as ra gone (the child).

When the sevens season starts next month, the Sharks from Somosomo Strait will be on the run with the gospel to save the sharks.

Their simple plea is to keep alive their ancestor.