The Vodafone Fiji rugby sevens team victory at the USA Sevens has been commended by the Hon. Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou.
In welcoming the Ben Ryan coached – side which returned this morning, Minister Tuitubou said there was an air of excitement around the country following their final win over New Zealand on Monday.
“On behalf of Government, the Prime Minister and Members of the Parliament, I would like to convey a big vinaka vakalevu and Fiji’s heartiest congratulations for your gallant performance last weekend,” Mr Tuitubou told players at the Nadi International Airport.
“Last weekend, you all made our small nation a proud one. You displayed true patriotism and played like true warriors. Your victory on Sunday at San Boyd Stadium (USA time) was a sweet one for all Fijians – men, women and children of all ages irrespective of race and colour.”
He said the win over New Zealand was certainly the boost for the nation needed as Fiji begins another working week.
He thanked Coach Ben Ryan for his commitment towards raising the standard of the national 7s side.
“We the Fijian public applaud your dedication and service and I want to echo what I mentioned late last year when I greeted the team after the Gold Coast tournament that “You are indeed one of us now”.
Minister Tuitubou, however, challenged the team to maintain consistency in its bid for a top four finish to qualify for the Rio Olympics next year.
“The road to Rio now seems possible and you have one foot in it already. Your victory over South Africa and New Zealand last weekend is proof that you are giant killers. You can beat any obstacle or team along your way. However, I wish to emphasise that you need to remain humble and always adhere to what your coach says. Team bonding is vital not only on the field – but also off the field,” Minister Tuitubou added.