Our Fiji Airways Flying Fijians took time out for a community visit upon their arrival in Sigatoka yesterday afternoon where the national team is based for the next three days.
The Flying Fijians paid tribute to the family of the late Fiji Rugby strength and conditioning coach Nimilote Dau at Rukurukulevu Village in Sigatoka.
Dau (as he was commonly known) passed away after a short illness last month and was based at Fiji Rugby’s High Performance Gym in Sigatoka.
He is survived by his wife and a child.
The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians planted a total of 70 seedlings on the late Dau’s family land and they included fifty sandalwood and twenty citrus plants.
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians coach John McKee said it was a great way to start their camp.
“I’m happy that we came to visit Dau’s family and also the people of Rukurukulevu.
“What we planted on his land is an investment for his family and most especially his children,” coach McKee said.
The team were then hosted to dinner by the people of Rukurukulevu with a chance to meet and engage with local fans and supporters.
“This visit is a wonderful opportunity for us to connect to the community and a unique way for us to give back,” McKee added.
“It is off course very important for us.
“We have the objective of making Fiji proud and these are the people that the Flying Fijians represent and to come down and interact with the community is very important for us.
“We are down here for couple of days and we will be training at Lawaqa Park.
“There’s a lot of hard work required by the players in getting their fitness back up, specifically the players who have had a little bit of a break from their season up North,” McKee added.
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu said it was very special and meaningful for the team to give back to someone who had dedicated his life grooming and developing players for Fiji.
“The team thought it was the perfect way to give back to Dau’s family and also to nature,” Waqaniburotu said.
Waqaniburotu said that with all 42 players now in, they have some objectives to meet this week before they break camp on Friday.
“The team’s looking forward to the training at Lawaqa Park and especially our iconic Sigatoka Sand Dunes.
“We know this week is not going to be an easy one and our focus is building a team for the Pacific Test Series against Maori All Blacks,” Waqaniburotu added.
The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians begin their campaign against the Maori All Blacks in the Pacific Test Series next Saturday at Suva’s ANZ Stadium.
And then face each other in the return leg on the 20th of this month.