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Mum cheers for daughter in India

Mereseini Marau, In New Delhi India
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WHEN former national hockey player Sainiana Hicks was screaming instructions to the national women's side playing against India, the Indian media were eager to know who she was.

They were surprised to know that she was not only a team official but firstly a mother who was here to support her only daughter and youngest child Rita Hicks.

According to one of the journalists, that was unique, something they don't get to encounter here in India.

Having parents supporting their daughters in a sport was very rare.

And for them to be cheering and encouraging from the sideline was just unusual.

During the Fiji versus Malaysia match, one of the journalists saw her and said out loud "mum is there cheering again."

"She lost her voice from cheering yesterday, but she's here again."

"I hope she has the time to talk to me."

Such was the interest Hicks was generating from the local media.

Hicks who played for Fiji in 1984 and has been playing competitive hockey until a few years ago said that she came especially to support not only her daughter but all the daughters who are representing Fiji in hockey.

Representing Fiji has given her an insight on what family support was all about.

"My parents never played hockey, so they didn't really have an idea on what kind of support I needed."

Hicks only got into hockey because she wanted to play a sport.

Given the kind of support or the lack of it from her home, she decided to make a difference in her daughter's life.

This is Rita's fourth cap and her first international tour representing the country.

'It's exciting but at the same time scary."

"My parents have been really supportive especially my mum," said the 18-year-old.

'It's very comforting to have my mum here supporting the team."

The midfielder attributed her love for the sport to her mum.

"I used to play netball at primary school and she was the one who convinced me to try out hockey."

"And its stuck with me ever since." Rita and her mum live in Suva while her dad and one of her elder brothers work in Australia.

The eldest in her family, another brother is in British Army.

"Mum's always there for us, from picking and dropping after training to supporting me financially."

Being the baby of the family, Rita was grateful to have parents who understood and offered the kind of support a hockey player needed.





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