SEVENS rugby legend Waisale Serevi yesterday shared with children how he sold beer bottles and cut grass to make enough money to buy his first pair of rugby boots.
The king of the abbreviated code is in the country and will be part of the Coral Coast Sevens playing for the Serevi Select side.
Yesterday, he was at the Drauniivi Primary School in Ra holding rugby training clinic.
"It is so nice to be back in Fiji, I am happy, excited and honoured," said Serevi, a shareholder in Serevi Rugby Nation.
"I am here not only to play at the Coral Coast Sevens but to give back rugby in terms of development because rugby made me what I am today," he said.
Serevi stressed to the enthusiastic youngsters the need to rally on despite the obstacles that may come their way.
"I told them not to lose hope, especially when there is no financial support.
"They need to keep playing, keep the spirit alive and keep dreaming then only will they achieve their target.
"I shared with them how I cut grass and sold beer bottles to buy my first pair of rugby boots.
"There was no looking back from thereon and I went on to enjoy my rugby for 21 years. It is now time to give back to the game and to my beloved Fiji and there is no better way to do it then with kids."
Serevi's clinics are sponsored by Callison Pacific Pine Chemicals and supported by Fiji Pine Limited and Fiji Pine Trust.
"I would like to thank the sponsors for helping me in this worthy cause. I would also like to thank my business partners Chris and Julie Pentrice together with Semi Lotawa and Pravin Chand for handling the business so well in Fiji," Serevi said. Today, from 9am to midday Serevi will be at the Lololo Primary School in Lautoka and in the afternoon he will carry out the clinics at the Nawaka District School in Nadi.
Tomorrow, the wizard will be at the Tau District School in Sigatoka from 10am to 1pm.
"I would like to thank the Ministry of Education for making this possible," Serevi said.
"If I can help groom other champion players in Fiji, it will be really nice, for Fiji is where my heart is.
"While playing rugby I wanted to give my kids the best in education as my wife Kara, and children Una, Nate and Junior were always very supportive with my rugby. Then we opened up the business and all has gone well and now it is time for me to help try and breed more champion players who love the game of sevens."
Serevi, who won two sevens world cups with Fiji in 1997 and 2005, will team up with the likes of former USA skipper Matt Hawkins, Nasoni Roko, and Emosi Vucago at the three-day Coral Coast Sevens.
The side will be managed by Serevi's business partner Chand, the managing director of Fairtrade Auto and Navua football team director. Twenty-four men's team will take part in the three-day Coral Coast Sevens from Thursday to Saturday.
On the women's side the Aussie Pearls, like their male counterparts are a shadow national side, and Fiji's Marist Seahawks have been seeded one and two respectively. The Pearls are joined in Pool G by Pacific Two Blues, Lady Babas and Sunnybank with Sydney University, Auckland Marist and Striders competing in Pool H.
A: Wardens Gold, Sunnybank, Red Rock II, Naviti
B: Aussie Thunderbolts, Auckland Marist, Sigatoka River Safari Navosa, Hideaway Hurricanes
C: Tonga Aoniu, Daveta, Pacific Warriors, Warwick
D: Westfield Barbarians, Wardens Green, Navy, Black Pearls
E: Red Rock, Hydro, Nabua, Dritabua
F: Serevi Select, Police, Lomaiviti Barbarians, Outrigger.