Komaitai’s challenges

Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua manager Alisi Komaitai (left) speaks during the talanoa session in Lami last week. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

DESPITE being told that rugby “was a boys sport”, a young Alisi Komaitai had already made up her mind of one day picking up the oval ball.

While speaking at a talanoa session between members of the Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua and media representatives, Komaitai shared on her experiences as a young woman pursuing her passion for the sport.

The session was organised by the Women in Media and Sports last week and featured four Fijiana players and Komaitai, who is the team manager for the side. She said she had come a long way to where she is today.

Growing up on the chiefly island of Bau, girls and women were almost forbidden from playing any type of sports, she said This was a huge challenge for the Komaitai as she was in love with the rugby, and would often find herself playing with other boys in the village.

“My father would always get angry at me, saying that rugby was a boys sport and not meant to be played by girls,” she said.

After leaving her village island to attend Adi Cakobau School for her secondary school education, Komaitai was still unable to pursue her rugby passion and faced the same challenges.

“That was a very long time ago when people believed that only boys could play rugby.”

But as she looked back at those struggles she faced, she is thankful to have lived through them as they only motivated her all the more to play the sport she loved. Fast forward more than 20 years later, she is part of Fijiana Drua.

“It’s been a very long journey but I am thankful to God for bringing me through it.

“For me, the biggest challenge is being able to live up to expectations, holding this position is not that easy, there is a lot of work done behind the scenes to get the team moving.”

The Fijiana Drua will have their first Super W match of the 2023 season against the Brumbies at Prince Charles Park in Nadi next week Saturday.

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