So we need to look after them well. They are our ambassadors. Those were the words of Minister for Youth and Sports Jese Saukuru after experiencing first hand what the Fiji men’s and women’s 7s teams went through during the last HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leg.
Saukuru said they were the only teams giving us that tourism dollar through their tourism mileage.
Saukuru expects the Fiji Rugby Union to change its priorities by putting the Fiji Airways-sponsored teams in the front line to collect more tourism dollars for the nation.
“It is about time that the FRU should change and prioritise the commitment towards our national 7s teams,” Saukuru said.
Saukuru, who was at the HSBC WRSS in Los Angeles and Vancouver recently, said he saw what the national teams went through.
“For us, they are the only teams that are giving us recognition.
“When people overseas ask us if you are from Fiji and when you say yes, they say Fiji is the home of rugby 7s. It is how many people overseas recognise us.”
He said the national 7s teams were the only ones giving the country the tourism dollar through their participation in tournaments overseas.
“They are the only teams that are giving us that tourism dollar through their tourism mileage.
“Marketing wise, they are the only teams that are recognised throughout the world. People are coming into the country because of the 7s teams, especially those who follow the series.