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Nawai wants Silver Fern

Maciu Malo
Friday, August 08, 2014

JASPER Williams High School student Kelera Nawai has set her dreams on following in the footsteps of former national captain and Silver Ferns player Vilimaina Davu.

The 16-year-old departed the country on Wednesday to commence her two-and-a-half year scholarship at the prestigious St Andrews College in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Seniteteva Club star goalshooter was instrumental in her side's campaign in the Lautoka netball weekly competition helping them to win the knockout title and the round two competition.

An elated dad, Josevata Nawai, said the family were shocked to be visited last week by Davu's former coach Margaret Foster at their Vatutu Village home in Nadi.

He said he was still trying to come to terms with the departure of her youngest daughter but he was confident her daughter would fulfil her ultimate netball dream.

"She told us before leaving that she wanted to play in the Silver Ferns outfit," said Nawai.

"I encouraged her that nothing is impossible if the heart is willing.

"I challenged her to work hard on and off the court and to give her best to fulfil her goal.

"Personally I am confident she will become the next Davu to wear the famous black uniform."

Seniteteva Club president Lala Sowane said the Form 5 student had been impressive during the weekly competition.

The Pacific Destination managing director said through her business networks in New Zealand managed to obtain Nawai's scholarship at St Andrews College which covered her tuition and boarding fees plus other related costs.

Sowane accompanied Nawai to introduce and settle her into her new school.

"Nawai who played for the Nadi-based Seniteteva team gained recognition in 2013 while representing Lautoka in the Inter District tournament," she said.

"She was selected by the national selectors to join the Fiji Pearl training squad and played for Fiji A earlier this year.

"It has been an amazing four weeks when we received the written confirmation of Kelera's scholarship and everything happened so quickly for us all to put all logistics, from her visa and other travel requirements into place."

The young shooter was interviewed by "Seven Sharp" a popular Television New Zealand current affairs program early this week.

"We are so grateful to so many people and organisations who have supported and being part of Kelera's journey, in particular, Wayne Harris of Go Conference & Incentive in Auckland and his sister, Leanne Harris who is the manager of the Canterbury Tactix," Sowane said.

"It was through Leanne who managed to link Kelera up with the coaching team of the Tactix and St Andrews College, who after viewing videos of Kelera's games that we sent over, were very interested to sign up Kelera.

"It was through Wayne Harris also that Kelera's story will be televised on Seven Sharp. We are hoping that her story will inspire young Fijian netballers to work hard and strive for their dreams to push their netball talent as far as they can, in the same way our rugby talents have been recognised internationally," said Sowane.

Sowane said Kelera's journey could not have been made possible without the support of ANZ Bank, Vodafone, Air New Zealand, VT Solutions, Pacific Destinationz, Nadi Sports Club and Marlene Blake who have sponsored and assisted Kelera in their respective ways.

"We are sincerely thankful to Kelera's parents who gave us their blessings to act on their behalf and to the Momo Na Tui Nawaka who gave his blessings and the support of the vanua of Nawaka and Navatulevu," she added.

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