Importance of having a career after rugby

SPORT is a way youths can support themselves as a form of a career.

This was the message from chief guest at the launch of the Island Breeze Rugby Plus rugby clinic, lawyer Akuila Naco, at Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva yesterday.

He spoke on the importance of having a career after rugby and looking at past rugby players and how some of them have come through supporting their families through sports.

“We’ve seen some past rugby players develop their career and taken the opportunity to become much better than they were when they started off in Fiji,” he said.

“Unfortunately for some they have developed their careers overseas, become very successful and have come back to nothing and that is a sad reality of our athletes and for that I am grateful to Rugby Plus for a process that has taken years to ensure that there is always life after rugby.

“One of the amazing things that inspire me to support this program and to see that success is achieved where it goes down to the grassroots level.

“It goes out and identifies the talents out there and enables them through the program to bring them through a pathway to excel and to show their talent on the national field.”

He added that one of the classic examples of a player who had gone through the program was Wallabies player Sefanaia Naivalu.

‘We’re close associates with Sefa and every week we always fascinate on his efforts on the rugby field when playing for the Rebels team, but now as he becomes a Wallaby player from a humble beginning in Levuka he has risen through the support of the program.

“He has achieved success that any boy growing up playing rugby in Australia would aspire to achieve and that’s a big testament to the program by Island Breeze Rugby Plus and what they can do to an ordinary Fijian through discipline, training and commitment to the program. I am grateful to those who have made it happen and I also acknowledge the support of the sponsors.

“This program is about the community and that’s the exciting bit. It’s about living the dream and identify the hidden talents.”

A total of 2000 participants have gone through this program. The Island Breez rugby clinic will be held at Rukuruku Village on Ovalau next week.

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