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Focussed Fiji netters mean business

Wednesday 2 June 2010 | Published in Regional

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A resilient national Fiji team are not here for a holiday, they are here to take out the Pacific Series netball tournament.

“We mean business,” coach Una Rokoura says. “We have a mixed team of young and experienced players. I think this tournament is a do-or-die for everybody here.”

The Fiji team have faced a number of challenges on their journey to Rarotonga with lack of funding the team’s biggest hurdle.

But Rokoura says that her team’s resilience and ability to stay focussed through the troubled times will make them a huge threat in the series.

Rokoura says that it was the generosity of a group of netball supporters in Fiji, known as FON (Friends of Netball) and support from the Fiji government and major sponsors that have made it possible for Fiji to be part of this netball series.

In honour of their sponsors the Fiji netball side is officially known as the ATH/Telecom/Vodafone Fiji national netball team.

The Fiji team were particularly upbeat when Cook Islands News caught up with them on Monday afternoon before their first training session.

Among the team of slender players is Fiji’s under 21 netball star and ace goal shooter Cecelia Sorby who many will remem-ber from the World Youth Championships in Rarotonga last year.

The lofty shooter was also looking very confident as she skipped around the practise goal posts outside the Telecom Sports Arena.

Fiji are ranked ninth in the world and their sole aim is to win the Pacific Series and qualify for the 2011 World Championships in Singapore.

On day one of the series tomorrow, Fiji will play Samoa followed by the Cooks on Friday and Papua New Guinea on the last day of games on Saturday.

The Fiji community are invited to head to the Telecom Sports Arena to support their national team.

The Fiji team members are: Una Rokoura (coach), Sai Khalik (manager), Usha Gfeller (physio), captain, Ana Erenavula, vice-captain Matila Waqanidrola, Maria Bereso, Seruwaia Vonolagi, Cecelia Sorby, Lavu Tuisasa, Bernadelle Daurewa, Vaiti Waqatabu, Teimumu Moce, Luse Kotobalavu, Mere Rabuka and Simone Nalatu.