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Rotuman Sports

From Geraldine Panapasa (3 March 2008)

Two former Rotuman netball reps have decided to take Rotuman netball to another level with the formation of a Rotuman netball club consisting of young, potential players from the yearly Rotuma Games. Sensational former Fiji defender Bernadette Ramafono Daurewa and former Under 19 Fiji rep Lisa Faktaufon are taking on the roles of coach and club coordinator respectively. Discussions about forming a netball team to participate at local competitions in Suva have always hit a brick wall in previous years especially when team support from the community is lacking. However, despite this oblivious obstacle, the former reps are determined to make this team one of the best in local competitions. It is a common sight to see only a handful of Rotuman sportspeople excel at national and international level. Times are changing and the dynamic duo are hoping that more Rotumans in Fiji and abroad will decide to contribute wholly to the development of these outstanding and talented young netters.

The club name, Team Hanua, represents the interests of all Rotuman people. Club coordinator Lisa Faktaufon said the sole purpose of Team Hanua is to develop, expose and guide young Rotuman women who are fast becoming potential excellent netball players. She said the newly formed club will consist of two netball teams which consist of relatively young netters.

“It is a young team, of more than 30 young Rotuman women between the ages 10-21 years old. During the October Rotuma Games, the level of netball competition has increased significantly. It is the hope that with more exposure of players through Team Hanua, the standard of competition will improve. These young ladies have played for the different Suva based clubs, Sarafui, Rae’sea and Satarua.

“If the players are students, then another aim of Team Hanua is to focus on their academic performance. If a student is falling behind with school work, then she will be suspended from one game. In this way, parents are also involved in monitoring their daughter’s development on and off the court. For those who are unemployed, this opportunity will give them a chance to do something fulfilling. They will learn to develop their skills wholly and in time to come they will definitely become professional netball players,” said Ms Faktaufon.

Apart from participating in local competitions, the two reps are also focusing on maintaining a high standard of netball where players might be able to take part in international competitions as well. In this day and age, the cost and standard of living has increased significantly and this has contributed a great deal to the stagnant development of Rotuman netball. This development team (Team Hanua) is currently registered under the Suva Netball Association and even with this initiative already underway, other difficulties have slowly risen. One of these is the fact that all the players are students and most of them do not have a steady source of income to fund their travel and training expense. The players’ commitment to the team will be affected because of this financial constraint. This is where assistance and help from local and international Rotuman communities are needed. It is important to realize how far our young netters can go if given the chance to develop a talent they already possess. Investing in something undeniably significant will not only benefit the Rotuman people, culture and life but it will also contribute a great deal to the progress of young Rotuman women in this ever changing world.
With the World Netball Championships in 2009, the development and formation of this young team could not have come at a better time. The onus is on the Rotuman community everywhere and others concerned with the development of sports to lend a helping hand either in donations or sponsors to move Rotuman netball to another level instead of the usual game standard at the Rotuman Games.

Note: More information on Team Hanua can be obtained from:

Coach: Bernie Daurewa - (679) 9998307

Club Coordinator: Lisa Faktaufon - (+679) 9956095

Email: team.hanua@yahoo.com

Donations can be deposited into Team Hanua bank account: ANZ Suva House - a/c #: 9689727.