Congratulations in order

TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 03: Jerry Tuwai of Fiji poses after being named Rugby Sevens Player of the Year during the World Rugby Awards on November 03, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

There are moments in time that can catapult us straight onto the highest pedestal reserved for the world’s best in any field.

It matters not where that may be. Such moments are treasured for they inch out great pride and joy.

Such moments leave an indelible impression on the mind. They have the power to resurrect belief and confidence in people.

Into that special moment comes former national sevens rugby skipper, and playmaker Jerry Tuwai. Tuwai is the best sevens rugby player on the planet. That’s the word from the governing body World Rugby in its latest sports awards in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday night.

Tuwai played a pivotal role in five back-to-back tournaments for Fiji, and in winning the WRSS title. He joins Samisoni Viriviri as a winner of the best sevens player title. What will no doubt attract attention is the realisation that we have an abundance of talented men and women who are able to win such top awards on the international front.

It reflects the calibre of players we have, and the standards we are able to match.

It is a very special moment when a Fijian is announced as the best in the world. It throws out any notion that we are minnows, and places us on a pedestal that would normally be reserved for nations and teams that pack a punch in terms of development, have economic clout, and better resources.

Hard work, we should remind ourselves, is able to lift our image positively, and raise our standards to dizzying heights.

The recognition of Tuwai’s achievements on the field firmly throws attention on our players. It tells a story of skills, flair, enthusiasm, self-belief and confidence, and a willingness to shed sweat and tears to achieve set goals. Being the humble man he is, fans don’t expect Tuwai to blow his own trumpet.

This award though is a great recognition of the value of Tuwai to Fiji rugby. It should serve as a bench mark for aspiring sevens players and youngsters coming into the fold. What he lacks in size, Tuwai more than makes up for in skills, great peripheral vision, a nose for gaps, pace, confidence and a strong defence.

He had been a nominee for the past three seasons.

From the little man who burst onto the sevens stage a few years ago, we have seen his meteoritic rise to the top of sevens rugby. We have been mesmerized by his vision on the field, his magic, step, ball skills, and strong defence.

We have shared in his joy, and were sad when we didn’t do too well. We have grown up with a youngster who has developed into a superstar of the abbreviated version of the sport.

As Tuwai said, we should share this recognition. We should be motivated by it, and embrace the need to live our dreams. Congratulations are in order for Tuwai and his family, and to the Fiji 7s squad. This is Tuwai’s moment.

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