2022 Coke Games: Rositalei ready to represent Lakeba

Ratu Finau Secondary School athletes from front, Vulikaci Rositalei, Milise Takayawa, Kolinio Tikoisuva, Saimoni Koroi, Filimoni Tuiwai, Aliki Kolitapa and Timaima Tawake at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

ATHLETES from all around the country will come together for this year’s Coca-Cola Games at the HFC Bank Stadium and among them Ratu Finau Secondary School student Vulikaci Rositalei will grace the tracks for the first time, carrying the hopes and well-wishes of her family members and the people on the island of Lakeba.

The Tubou lass, who has maternal links to the island of Vanuavatu, said she was looking forward to taking part in this year’s Games, running in the 100 and 200 metres sub-junior girls’ events.

“I am looking forward to running at the competition and taking part at this year’s Coca-Cola Games for the first time,” said Rositalei.

“My family called me to wish me well in the Coca-Cola Games, to have a good run and enjoy the competition. They had been praying for me and are hoping that I do my best and hopefully win a medal to take back home.

“I had always dreamt of participating in this competition and I had started preparing for it last year.”

Rositalei is traveling to the capital city for the first time and said she was happy to be given the opportunity to compete at the national games.

The 14-year-old, who trained on the beach and on slopes on the island of Lakeba with her fellow athletes, said they were looking forward to running on the tracks.

“We had been training on slopes and at the beach back on the island and it is a different feeling getting to run on the tracks. I hope running at the school ground will help me in this year’s competition.

“This is my first time in Suva and I really love the experience so far. I am not accustomed to seeing big buildings and fancy shops so it has been very eye-opening for me.”

She urges former scholars of the school, family members and the people of Lakeba to cheer them on at the three-day event.

“It was good to see the people from the island come visit us in camp and I hope to see them at the Stadium over the weekend. Their support will mean a lot to us as they are the closest thing to home for us and I hope all seven of us will go out there and do every person from Lakeba proud.”

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