THE national women's cricket team ù the Viti Ruve ùyesterday departed Fiji for Vanuatu to take part in the 2012 ICC East Asia Pacific Women's Championship with adequate motivation.
The side made a historic first ever visit to the President's Office to present their i-tatau (traditional farewell) and seek blessings from Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on Friday.
Cricket Fiji chief executive officer Sonny Henderson said the visit was an emotional but important one.
"The president's words really motivated the girls because he (Nailatikau) told the girls that it's not over till the last over of the game and to fly the Fiji flag with pride," Henderson said.
"He said the girls have the blessing of the nation and asked them to give it their best shot on the field," he said.
Henderson also wished the team well when he presented them their jerseys for the tournament at the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASNOC) boardroom on Friday.
"I just told them to go out there have fun and enjoy themselves but do remember they are there for a purpose and they have to fulfil that purpose.
"I also told them to keep up the Fijian style of competing and that is not to give up until the game is over."
He said the team was ready to put to the test whatever they had learnt during the training they had been involved in for the past three months.
"The tournament in Vanuatu is important because if they win it, they go through to the qualifiers for the Cricket World Cup that will be held in Europe next year.
"If they win the qualifier or come second in it, they will qualify for the World Cup that will also be held next year," Henderson said.
The championship will run from May 14 to 19 and the countries taking part are Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Japan, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.
The Viti Ruve plays their first match against Vanuatu at 9.00am tomorrow at Independence Park.
Viti Ruve: Alicia Dean (C), Lanieta Benuci, Semaema Raramasi, Sera Kaukiono, Silipa Raratabu, Mereia Tilau, Marica Vua, Anamaria Naimasi, Luisa Tawatatau, Makelesi Mada, Ana Maidela, Diana Vakaloloma, Marica Ratuki, Luanne Rika.