The Aussie Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams have taken time out to run a clinic at a primary school in Fiji.
The visit was part of the Pacific in Union program, which encourages grassroots participation across the Pacific, run by the ARU in conjunction with the Australian Government.
The sides are in Suva preparing for the Oceania Rugby 7s Championships which is the last hit-out before the World Series kicks-off in Dubai next month.
Women’s co-captain Sharni Williams said engaging with the community was an important role for the Olympic champions.
“We get paid to travel around the world and play Rugby so to be able to share that with these young kids is amazing, ” she said.
“Being able to give back is the most noble thing I can do as a Rugby player and a gold medallist.
“To go out there to show kids what it’s all about and how they’re going to grow, evolve and the little steps it takes to be a gold medallist (at an Olympics)." - Sharni Williams
“To go out there to show kids what it’s all about and how they’re going to grow, evolve and the little steps it takes to be a gold medallist (at an Olympics). ”
Oceania Participation Coordinator, Tihrani Uluinakauvadra ,had a major hand in organising the clinic and knows first-hand how big an impact these types of events have on local students.
“It means a lot to the kids here and it really boosts the influence of kids getting into Rugby, especially in terms of the women here in Fiji, ” he said.
“They have been here from 7:30am waiting for the teams to arrive at 10am so you know how much it means to them.
“It’s (Rugby) a religion here and they’ve been watching the Aussie teams for many years. ”
Aussie Men’s skipper for the tournament, John Porch, also enjoyed his time with the Year 8 students and was impressed with the skills on show.
“It’s always good to get out in such a vibrant community like Fiji where they love their rugby, ” he said.
“It’s awesome to see the young talent obviously coming through and if we can help give a little bit of knowledge it’s awesome. ”
The Oceania Rugby 7s Championships kicks-off on Friday and will feature 10 men’s and seven women’s teams from across the Pacific.