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From Fiji Times Online (27 July 2009)

Cecelia Elenoa Sorby: She's no sissy

By Indra Singh

She's the toughest ... Cecelia Sorby just wants to shoot well for Fiji.

SHE may be the baby of the national Under-21 netball team but Cecelia Elenoa Sorby is tougher than the toughest steel.

In fact, she is tougher than the steel in the guns of the Fiji Military Forces.

Fittingly, the svelte shooter has held her peace at being made to pay for the perceived sins of her father by the New Zealand Government.

The tougher-than-steel 18-year-old has had to endure a series of visa rejections from New Zealand.

But she has taken that in her stride and pushed forward, shining so well that while her team mates transit in Auckland on their way to Rarotonga, she will be forced to go thousands of extra miles and reach the Cook Islands via the City of Angles.

Her father, Jock Alexander Sorby, is a soldier in the Fiji Military Forces and his daughter has been found guilty by association.

Twice this year, Sorby's visa application to travel to New Zealand have been rejected.

First it was during the warm-up tour undertaken by the Fiji side in April and again last week when the team applied for its transit visa to travel to the Cook Islands for the World Youth Netball Championship.

But the Suva Grammar School student is a fighter, saying she had been warned on what to expect by dad.

"I always knew what to expect when the visa to New Zealand was applied for," Cecelia said.

"That made me stronger and that was way I knew in advance what to expect."

The Tailevu lass said she was upset that sports and politics were being mixed.

"It has nothing to do with sports," she said.

"It is sad that this happened."

The Veiyasana club rep has now put the saga behind her and will travel through Los Angeles after being granted a visa by the United States of America.

"I am only looking forward to landing in the Cook Islands and playing," Cecelia said.

"I am thankful to the US Embassy for giving me a visa."

The lanky SGS deputy head girl only took up netball seriously last year after being roped in by her aunt and former Fiji U19 rep, Lisa Faktaufon.

Faktaufon set up Team Hauna to play in the Suva club competition last year and that was Sorby's big break.

Before that, the youngster was keen high jumper, winning medals at Veiuto Primary School and SGS at age group Fiji Finals.

"When I joined Team Hauna, that was when my netball took off," she said.

"I was selected in the Suva Under-21 and I must thank Moape Vu for helping me.

"Following that I made the national Under-21 team."

While her dad prepared her mentally, it is her mum who has played a major role in her short netball career.

"We stay in Davuilevu and she (mum) drives me to training early in the morning and is always helping me," Cecelia said.

"I am very grateful to my family for their support."

The eldest in the family of three, she wants to become a dentist but not before becoming the top shooter for Fiji and in the world.

For that, Cecelia knows she must once again draw on the steel in her.