FORMER national rugby winger Marika Vunibaka, is urging youths to make good use of their sporting talents.
As a new year begins, the former Canterbury Crusaders winger wants to see young athletes and players do well in their budding careers.
The 38-year-old of Lomaiviti is currently a coach/player with the Lomaiviti Babas side and is grooming young talent which he believes will one day become national reps.
He said everyone had a talent or a gift but it was the right use of it that would bear fruit.
"The talent is there but the youths nowadays don't know how to use their talents and gifts wisely," Vunibaka said.
"I think it would be best for athletes and sports players to set goals and work hard towards achieving their goals," he said.
"And to achieve those goals, you have to work hard and sweat for it because you can't win if you are sitting at home all the time."
Vunibaka said he could relate his beginning as a young player to that of youths nowadays but said in recent times, sports had become easier.
"I started off from the village before I came to the city in my early playing days.
"Back then we did not have as many facilities as there are now and that is why I think the youths of today are very lucky.
"They have the facilities and they have special drinks for hydration and special diet for them which we did not have back then.
"So I would urge the young sportspeople to give it their best in training and when they are competing they should give it 100 per cent and nothing less.
"Make sacrifices and work hard towards achieving your goals," he said.
Vunibaka has set a few goals for himself and his team for 2013 and said he was willing to give it his best shot.