On the Island of Kadavu there is a 13-year-old young woman, Lanieta Bota, who has a burning desire to represent Fiji in the World Netball Arena.
Lanieta’s dream began when, as a 7-year-old, she informed her mother that she’ll play for the Fiji Pearls. That dream had been fueling her desire ever since.
The Kadavu youngster was overjoyed and excited last week when she was informed that she’ll be part of the Netball Fiji age group training camp. Upon hearing the news on Wednesday she left her village the following day, traveling across to Suva, eager to attend the training camp where she joined 93 age grade prospects from across the country.
“I’ve always wanted to represent Fiji and play for the Fiji Pearls. I have been working hard and I thank my parents for supporting me. Being part of this training camp is a testament to my hard work and this is just the beginning,” Lanieta said.
The 13-year-old knows this is just the beginning of her journey. She knows there will be sacrifices, and hurdles to go through if she wants to achieve her dream, and she is ready for whatever challenges that come her way.
“I have been continuing my training back in the village and both my village team coach and teacher at Ratu Nacagilevu Memorial School have been encouraging me to continue my training and work harder,” Lanieta added.
The 13-year-old has been playing for her village U18 team at the local on-island Netball tournaments in Kadavu. She was part of her Naboutini village team at the Punjas Digicel Netball Championship. She plays Centre and was crucial for the Naboutini team in the final against Suva White. She was named Most Valuable Player in the 18&U final at the National Championship.
Lanieta was the youngest player at the Netball Fiji training camp last weekend.