Tevita follows in Ratu Kiti's footsteps
13 January, 2011
|(L-R) Iliesa Tanivula and Tevita Waqairawai. |
Hailing from the chiefly village of Ucunivanua, Verata, Tailevu Fiji Rugby Union’s (FRU) marketing manager - Ratu Tevita Bolakivei Waqairawai - is the new Digicel Fiji 7s team co manager.
For the next leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series – which takes in Wellington and Las Vegas - he takes over the role of manager from colleague and FRU development manager Sale Sorovaki who managed the team to Dubai and George last month.
“It’s my turn in the hot seat and Sale’s already briefed me on what a demanding role it is but I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to manage the team to Wellington and Las Vegas,” Waqairawai said
In taking on the role of national sevens team manager the former Queen Victoria School student hopes to renew a successful family association with the national sevens team as his uncle was legendary sevens coach Ratu Kitione Tuibua Ravoka.
“I’m immensely proud to be following more or less in the footsteps of my uncle, and if I can mirror the sort of success he achieved with the team I’d be thrilled.”
However with its inclusion in the Olympics sevens rugby has become a global sport and Waqairawai is aware the challenges now being faced are for bigger than before.
“Before there was really only one tournament – which was Hong Kong - and there used to be only three teams achieving any sort of success – New Zealand, Australia and of course Fiji.”
“Now we have the HSBC Sevens Series, the sevens world cup and sevens rugby attaining Olympic status so the competition is by many folds much tougher and on a whole new level.”
A former national triallist, judoka and national discus champion Waqairawai is keen to use some of his own experiences as a top level sportsman to help the team.
“Most teams now look beyond rugby to ensure players are fitter and stronger and with my experience, particularly with regard strength training, it is there for the coach and players to share ideas and thoughts about if they require my contribution in that regard.”
As defending champions of the Wellington 7s the pressure on Fiji will be huge and is something Waqairawai is well aware of.
“The pressure on the team to perform will be enormous but it always is and is something I alongside the coach will have to manage, it’s all part and parcel of the job.”
The Digicel Fiji 7s team continues its preparations this weekend for the Wellington 7s by participating in the Fiji TV Provincial 7s at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.