The Nadroga Kaji rugby teams left for Suva yesterday with the blessings of the province of Nadroga/Navosa.
Komave district representative Joe Batikolikoli said the teams were farewelled at Namatakula Village yesterday with a traditional send off.
"The under-9s and 10s were camping at Momi Primary School, under-11 and 12 at Nadroumai primary and the under-13 and 14 here at Namatakula," said Batikolikoli.
He said the district of Komave sponsored the U13 and U14 with warm-up gear as they wanted to give the two senior teams the best preparation before their first games.
"I would like to thank the Tui Vusu for giving the final approval for the purchase of the warm-up gear and the four districts of Korolevu-i-Wai, Koroinahau, Vatulele and Komave for providing meals for the teams for three weeks, it has been a great sacrifice and commitment from parents, teachers and everyone involved.
"Also a big vinaka vakalevu to our Principal Education Officer in Sigatoka Serupepeli Udre for working tirelessly with logistics and administration in all three camps and making sure everything worked smoothly until the teams left for Suva."
Head coach Niko Koroua also echoed Batikolikoli in praising Udre.
"With that kind of leadership coming from the head of education in Nadroga in making sure all these young ruggers were fully taken care of, we the coaches of these kaji teams know half of our job is done.
"The onus is on us to guide these boys to the rugby field to play to the best of their abilities," said Koroua.
He said last year their two senior teams reached the semi-finals and they were looking to go one better this year.
"We are asking the people of Nadroga/Navosa in Suva and parents for your prayers and support," said the former Nadroga rugby prop.
The Nadroga kaji teams are billeted at the Raiwai Hall and last night the Nadroga community in Suva provided dinner for them.