Tuwai inspires

Fiji Airways Fiji men's captain Jerry Tuwai during a photoshoot at the St Aloysius College in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Fiji Airways Fiji men's captain Jerry Tuwai. Picture: FT FILE/JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s skipper Jerry Tuwai has a mission.

It is about rugby, but different from his role as the leader of our national 7s team to the coming World Rugby World Sevens Series.

Apart from trying to keep fit and form for the series to start at the Dubai 7s at the end of the month, Tuwai is using his skills and talents to empower members of the Newtown Rugby Club.

He has been a member of the club, even before he became a national rep.

Last Saturday he spent time training members of the club on a small playing ground in Newtown, Nasinu.

Tuwai, who was raised in Newtown, has devoted his time in his community to help youths harness their talent on the rugby field.

“I have been blessed with talents that have made me a good rugby player,” Tuwai said.

“It will be unfair to keep that knowledge to myself.”

For the past three years Tuwai has helped build grassroots rugby in Newtown, a community that is known to be prone to crime.

Beginning his training with boys under-16, U19 and the premier team.

“If they are not in school or working, the rugby field can be another option,” said Tuwai.

Newtown Rugby Club is the current Nasinu Rugby Union club competition champion, and Tuwai’s contribution at the grass roots level has borne fruit with the progression of the club.

“Not all of these players will be lawyers, not all of them will be doctors or teachers, some of them will be future rugby stars, and if I can help show them the way, I will do all I can to do so,” said Tuwai.

Captain of the Newtown rugby team Maika Seta said they were grateful to Jerry for not forgetting his community and where he started.

“The players look up to him, they learn a lot and we are thankful that he can be here to also help players prepare for their upcoming games,” Seta said.

The club will be part of the U19 Collegiate 7s tournament that will take place on Friday in Sigatoka.

Tuwai will also feature for the Fiji 7s team in the 2018 Oceana Rugby Sevens Championship this weekend.

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