Rugby with a cause

Nacavanadi 7s action between Wainitakele and Hotspring rugby 7s teams in the quarter-finals at Nacavanadi Village ground last month. Picture: ERONI TUINUKU

THE Nacavanadi rugby 7s tournament organisers have their own reason of reviving the tournament after 14 years.

It is to prevent urban drift for village youths and make use of the resources around them.

It has been more than a decade and the once renowned tournament has taken another step with a bigger picture for next year planning Fiji’s first 7s series called the Beautiful Gau Sevens Series.

It will involve 13 teams on the island competing every two months on different venues in an attempt to prevent urban drift.

Tournament organiser George Tiko said yaqona farmers on Gau Island were one of the richest people in the country.

“The numbers can increase if unemployed teenagers living in urban areas return to their villagers and focus on their land,” Tiko, a former Fiji secondary schools rugby rep said.

“We have some teenagers who played in the Nacavanadi 7s tournament who are millionaires because they make use of their land resources farming yaqona and other root crops.

“We will host these series to attract those living in the urban areas to return home and play in their village teams and at the same time plant yaqona or other root crops that will cater for their livelihood in the next three to four years.

“Teams in Gau will compete in this series and teenagers living in urban areas can only play for their village team which gives them the opportunity to farm for yaqona and at the same time train for their village teams preparing for the series.”

Nawaikama Village farmer Anare Togoriri echoed the comment saying the series would help teenagers in Gau.

“Yaqona farming has helped my family and my children and I know it takes a little sacrifice to actually earn thousands or millions of dollars in your bank account just by farming and that can be done,” said Togoriri.

The series will kick off next February.

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