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Rugby is a religion here in Fiji. They eat, sleep and breathe it. Being here whilst the Olympic Gold was won was something very special and one of my lasting memories of Fiji. Now that the IRB World Sevens Series is also in full swing the fever has caught the nation once more.

Whilst I enjoy sevens I much prefer laying fifteens. When I moved to London several years ago, I joined a rugby team to keep fit, learn a sport and make friends. All of those things happened. So, when I moved here I thought joining a rugby team would be a great move again!

So far it has been. The girls on the team are great, very welcoming and really friendly. During the public holidays they have picnics in the park and always invite me along. I’m also in their Facebook messenger group, but, 100+ messages in Fijian isn’t a lot of good to me!

It’s also keeping me fit. I walk to and from training when it’s not dark and the weather is good. This is 40 minutes and hilly – I’m doing enough LISS for Kayla Itsines to be proud! Then there is obviously the running around whilst training or sometimes we head to the gym as a team. They meet four times a week (not that I’ve made it more than twice). Here I’m also getting a totally different style of training. They have such quick hands and their fifteens style is very different. I hope this difference is going to be really good for me. These girls are also really good – one of them lays for the national fifteens side, the Fijianas and recently went to Hong Kong to lay their women’s team. Two more recently went to Dubai for the first leg of the IRB sevens.

Aside from all these benefits it gives me a break and somewhere to tackle out all my frustrations!

By Kat Barber - Project Coordinator

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