Nabua, Oran Park Chargers forge relationship

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Offi cials of Oran Park Rugby Junior Rugby League and members of the Nabua community during the donation on Monday. Pictures: JONA KONATACI

The popular adage “you can take a Fijian out of Fiji but you can’t take Fiji out of the Fijian” rings true to Sunia and Isimeli Ravono as they join the Oran Park Chargers Junior Rugby League Club in Queensland, Australia.

Through their participation in the club, a new relationship was forged with Nabua rugby union and rugby league.

The Nauciwai, Yale Kadavu siblings with maternal links in Qalikarua, Matuku, Lau were born in Nabua before migrating to Australia. After phone calls, exchange of emails and Facebook messages, the idea of the relationship came to fruition when some members of the Oran Park Chargers Junior players set foot at Nabua on Monday with sporting goods for the clubs.

As former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said “we must use the power of sport as an agent of social change”, the relationship will have an impact in a community once notorious for its criminal activities.

Rugby union and league, in particular, have been the pillar of change, is not easy so to turn out well is no mean feat in Nabua, which has produced some iconic sporting figures in Fiji.

The clubs have produced players such as Fijiana 7s coach Saiasi Fuli, Waisale Serevi, the Rauluni brothers, Sakiusa Matadigo, Neori Buli, Ilaitia Takaladau, Semiti Raikuna, and the Nabua boys who accomplished the memorable “three-peat performance in Hong Kong in the late 1990s,” the public’s perception of the village began to change slowly but surely.

But the historic event on Monday marked another milestone for the community.

Oran Park Chargers president Scott Gettings, with some junior players, parents and officials travelled from Australia on a cruise ship on Monday to give the sporting materials.