Family support drives Simpson

Mitchell Simpson sweats it out during the Fiji U16 team training session at the National Fitness Centre in Suva on Monday, September 17, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FOR Mitchell Simpson, family support is important when it comes to playing rugby.

The 16-year-old Suva Grammar School student is part of the Fiji under-16 team that will participate in the 2018 Junior Rugby Championship in Australia.

Simpson comes from Nukubalavu in Savusavu and is the eldest of four siblings.

“I love playing rugby,” he said. “It has been my passion since I was in primary school.

“Making it to the national level it is a different atmosphere altogether.

“The training is intense and the pressure keeps mounting. Being selected to be part of the national team is an honour, but it comes with hard work and dedication.”

The former Veiuto Primary School under-13 rugby player says he is lucky to have supporting parents.

“I am grateful to my parents for having my back. They are my inspiration and they have supported my dream of becoming a rugby player. “I wanted to join Queen Victoria School when I left primary school, but dad had other plans for me, so I had to go with the flow. I am grateful for his support.”

Simpson who has maternal links to Nadivakarua in Bua paid tribute to his late grandfather, Manasa Kalouniviti, who died in July.

Simpson said his grandfather was his mentor.

“He always encouraged me. I thought I had lost all hope when I injured my wrist during our one of the games, but it was the support from my family and the help they offered that made me get up again and played.

“Its going to be tough tour since we will be away from school, but the help from our teachers and friends in school will help us catch up when we return.”

The team will depart Fiji next Friday.

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