Fijians rugby players in France help kids back home

Lino and Vinaisi Roqica - the parents of Olympian bronze medalist Rusila Nagasau - with their grandchildren. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Former Fiji 7s rep Benito Masilevu and his cousins, who also play for rugby clubs overseas, funded the Fiji Day and Olympic Games achievement celebration on Monday at Vakativa Village in Cakaudrove.

Masilevu, who is Fijiana 7s captain Rusila Nagasau’s first cousin, and who also come from Vakativa, called from France during the function and urged the villagers to continue achieving great things in life.

The France-based player also encouraged the children, that despite this long COVID-19 break, could still achieve their academic dreams and goals.

“Enough of just settling in after you complete your education,” Masilevu said.

“Rise above your challenges and situations. Study hard, attend school every day and always listen to your teachers and your parents.

“For many years we have stuck with the norm of attending school and return to the village to farm and that’s it. This needs to stop and if Vakativa can produce national reps, I am positive you can all get there, even become lawyers doctors and pilots.”

Masilevu thanked the village leaders and parents for their guidance, love and support over the years.

Turaga-ni-yavusa Drakaniwai Lino Roqica, the father of Olympian bronze medalist Nagasau, said the celebration to mark the Fijiana 7s victory was held on Monday.

“We couldn’t celebrate earlier because of COVID-19 restrictions, so we decided to have it all together with this Fiji Day celebration,” Roqica said.

“The committee of this function included teachers of Batibalavu District School. Our children who play rugby overseas funded this event.”

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