Caption: Johns and Fittler Following Footy Clinic at Fijian School.Photo:SUPPLIED
InterContinental Fiji was thrilled to host league legends Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns on their second ‘Footy for Fiji’ rugby league tour this week, commemorated by a successful gala dinner which raised FJD17,400 in aid of local schools.
“After the huge success of last year’s tour with Etonia Nabuli being signed to the NRL, and the great response from local communities and global media it was an easy decision to make the ‘Footy for Fiji’ tour an annual event,” said Rugby League great Brad Fittler.
The ‘Footy for Fiji’ team of Fittler, Johns and tour manager’s Joel Greig and Adam Thompson, in collaboration with InterContinental Fiji, organised a coaching clinic for the local schools in Natadola, and an extravagant gala evening where the public rubbed shoulders with Johns and Fittler, and raised FJD17,400 towards improving sporting facilities among schools in the local community.
Inspired by Nabuli’s ‘Porter to Panther’ success story last year, the league legends also orchestrated an open trial day in Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka where Australian legends of league Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns hand selected and coached two teams for a playoff in the inaugural Footy for Fiji Rugby League 9’s. At least 2 players from this match have been watch-listed by Johns and Fittler, based on outstanding performance.
“We are extremely proud of our very own porter turned Penrith Panther, Etonia Nabuli, who was recently selected for the NSW cup team of the year,” said General Manager, Scott Williams. “InterContinental Fiji is honoured to be involved with the NRL greats in this initiative, which will encourage rugby league in Fiji and inspire our up and coming stars to keep chasing the dream,” he said.
Rugby League Immortal Andrew Johns believes the partnership between Rugby League and the InterContinental Fiji can continue to have a positive impact on the local community for years to come.
“Over the past 2 years the resort has been such a wonderful host to both us and our families.” Johns said. “As we continue to grow our Footy for Fiji initiative with InterContinental Fiji the potential is endless as far as what we can achieve.”
Affectionately known as ‘The People’s Resort’ due to its ownership by The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) the resort has been working with the local schools in Natadola since it opened in 2009 and runs a long-term ‘Community Care’ fund which finances numerous projects.