From FijiRugby.com (18 September 2012)
Rotuma Trip Hailed a Success
The Fiji Rugby Union's Development Unit has hailed their first ever trip to Rotuma a success.
The four Development officers, Sale Sorovaki, Alivereti Mocelutu, Joeli Tubu and Eddie Waqa spent a week in Rotuma to conduct courses on IRB Level 1, 7s and 15s coaching courses and a Level 1 Match Officiating Courses.
Development Manager Sorovaki says that even though the trip took 44 hours by boat to get there, it was worth it.
"We left Suva on Saturday morning, and reached Oinafa on Monday morning, which was basically three days by boat, but we were also accompanied by Government representatives from the PM's office, Land Transport Authority, Fiji Electricity Authority and Ministry of Youth and Sports which made it exciting".
Sorovaki says that upon their arrival they were accorded a "Mamasa" which is a Rotuman welcoming ceremony for those coming into Rotuma for the first time.
"After spending 44 hours on the boat, we really needed a decent meal and a well deserved shower" Sorovaki laughed.
The Development Unit made a traditional presentation to the Rotuman Council where they stated their intentions of conducting coaching clinics to the schools and also IRB Level 1 coaching courses for the rugby coaches and government workers.
The next morning, the team travelled to Rotuma High School where they started off their Youth program with the Principles of Rugby followed by skills, which included viewing some rugby games.
"Because of the number of participants that were interested in our courses, we had to split them up into two groups. We would conduct the Youth clinics in the day from 8am to 4pm and then we would conduct the Civil servants clinics at night from 6pm to 10pm".
Sorovaki says that this was their ritual every day, which was very educational and productive not only for them but for the participants at the courses.
"On the last day, all the coaches had a turn in coaching and were surprised at their own talents. The feedback we got was that the coaches enjoyed the new skills they had learnt especially when they all looked for faults in the other coaches".
He says that the Development Unit took into account all the feedback they got from the participants.
Before departing Rotuma, the Development Unit was treated to a four team rugby competition that was held at Malha'a grounds.
Two Youth teams and two school teams made up the competition with five coaches assigned to the teams. The referees and officials were also given the chance to show off their new skills.
"With its remote location from Fiji, the Rotuman islanders can now run their own tournaments and not worry about getting referees from Viti Levu".
"The trip has been very successful because of the skills that we taught the students of Rotuma High and we also certified 35 coaches with the Level 1 IRB coaches' accreditation".
Sorovaki says that they intend to return to Rotuma to upskill and conduct a refresher course with the students and coaches there and also keeping in line with their core function which is to developing rugby in the community.