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Fiji volunteers in world meet

Mereseini Marau, In New Delhi
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

UNLIKE India and most of the teams who will be getting lucrative allowance from their own federations for playing in the Hero World Hockey League, the Fiji teams are all volunteers.

National men's coach Hector Smith Sr said everyone in the team from the coaches, managers to players were not paid.

"We are all volunteers, this is a volunteer team," he said.

And each of them had to pay a levy of $3,500 to come to this tournament.

Sharing about how low they were on budget, which was why they opted for a low budget hotel unlike the rest of the teams who were all billeted in a five-star hotel in the centre of New Delhi, Hector Sr said they were committed to coming no matter what.

And most of them had to work until 5pm on the day of their departure because they had to secure their jobs back home.

Smith Sr said they could not afford a day-off to prepare for the trip.

He also shared on how the team fundraised mostly on their own to get to this tournament.

"In between training we have to fundraise every single week to get here," he said.

Apart from their individual fundraising, there were team fundraisers which included them standing in front of the popular pub in Suva every Friday night for the women and Saturday night for the men to collect saqamoli from the patrons.

While some were doing that, the rest were selling rice and curry in the pub car park.

They also had cake stalls.

"Getting here is through our own efforts. That will tell you how committed we are," he said.





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