THE Rotuma High School squad to the 2012 Coca-Cola Games were caught with a big surprise on their arrival in Suva two weeks ago.
They expected Fiji to be warm but the unexpected cold weather experienced in the capital and other parts of the country caught them off guard.
They didn't bring any tracksuits - in fact they don't have any - to fight the windy and chilly condition expected at National Stadium in Suva this weekend.
And to keep their athletes warm and focused at the Games, which they have come to after a lapse of 11 years, the team is organising a gunusede this evening at Lambert Hall (Marist Brothers High School) in Suva.
Team manager Afrete Mua said they were hopeful of getting good support in their bid to purchase track suits, which they regard as their biggest necessity for the Games.
"We are trying to get funds to help us get the tracksuits. We have already got some old track shoes with us which were used by the team last year. It just needed a bit of repairing and I think we can manage with that," Mua said.
"But the tracksuit is the main thing we are missing and we need that at the Coca-Cola Games."
Rotuma has brought in seven athletes to compete in various track and field events at the two-day annual meet starting on Friday. The team, which included three officials, travelled for almost two days via sea to reach Suva.
For more than half of the athletes, this was their first trip to Fiji.
Mua said the trip to Suva cost them over $2000.
"We had a special concession (for fare) and the fare for a child was $100 each way while for an adult cost $150 each a way," he said.
"Roughly it took us 43 hours to get to Suva."
Despite the hardship the team faced to reach this far, Mua is upbeat of their chances.
They hope to start their campaign with good results at the Maritime Zone today.
"We started training last year but nobody took it seriously. But this year we were more serious about athletics and have been training from the beginning of the term," Mua said.
"Our main reason to return to the Coca-Cola Games is to expose our children to the standard of competition on Viti Levu.
"We have been training with the Marist Brothers team and Bola Tafo'ou has been helping us with the preparation."
Asked what if the team fails to get the tracksuits for the Fiji Finals, Mua jokingly replied "it will make us real Rotumans but we will do with whatever we have."
It's the spirit for this team that will keep them going rain, hail or shine.