A 10-year wait

TEN long years of sacrifices, perseverance and commitment has finally ended for Fijian referee Kaveni Talemaivavalagi as he prepares to fulfill his rugby dream at this weekend’s HSBC Wellington 7s.

THE 27-year-old Buliya native of Kadavu who started his referee career at high school in 2006 is the lone Fijian to officiate this weekend.

This newspaper caught up with Talemaivavalagi at St Patrick College ground yesterday training with other referees preparing for the Wellington 7s.

He said not all Fijian boys would become rugby players and his dream was to become a successful rugby referee.

Talemaivavalagi said he was humbled to represent the country at this world 7s event and was ready to give his best for his loved ones back home.

“First of all I thank the Lord for this opportunity and his blessing to my life,” he said.

“I have been waiting for this opportunity for the past 10 years since I first officiated back at Laucala Bay Secondary School. I was in Form Six then.

“I think most of the boys in Fiji all want to be rugby players but we cannot be all rugby players.

“That is why I took up referee and it is pleasure and a God’s calling for me.”

The John Wesley College teacher said the benchmark set by James Bolabiu motivated him to excel.

He said he was excited to stamp his mark in his first HSBC World 7s tournament.

“This is a huge opportunity to showcase the talents we have back in Fiji.”

“James made a big and great job that enabled me to follow his footsteps and to be here at this world 7s series. If James didn’t do well I don’t think I would be here also. But I am ready for the challenge.”

Talemaivavalagi also attributed his success to his parents and his wife Adi Lewa.

“I am dedicating this outing to my parents, my wife Adi Lewa and son Ratu Save back in Fiji.”

“I will do my best to make them proud,” he added.

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