NewsVeteran Alesi Waqa-Paul Sparks Fiji Pearls’ Pacific Games campaign, Mentors Young Talents

November 21, 2023by Mitieli Baleiwai

Alesi Waqa Paul, a seasoned player for the Fiji Pearls, is set to return to the court when the Fiji Pearls face the host team, Solomon Islands in their opening match of the Pacific Games on Monday, November 27th, at 4:30 pm in the Friendship Hall, Honiara.

Juggling her role as a police officer and the responsibilities of a mother to three, the 38-year-old acknowledges the unwavering support from her family that has enabled her to sustain her netball journey.

Waqa-Paul made her debut for the Fiji Pearls in 2006, and her last appearance for the Pearls’ was during the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where she suffered a ruptured ACL.

Ever since her injury at the Commonwealth Games she has been getting involved in netball clinics, club coaching, community visits and also been regularly starting for the Nasinu Gold team at Inter-district tournament and other competitions.

“Im honoured to be back in the team, I first join the national team back in 2006 when Megan Simpson was the coach, I stopped playing after the Commonwealth Games in 2018 after I fully ruptured my ACL,” said Waqa-Paul.

“Given my love for netball, I stayed involved by conducting clinics, community visits, coaching clubs, and continuing to play at the club level.”

“When I received the call to join the Pacific Games extended squad training camp this year, I didn’t hesitate. My passion for this sport drives me, and I’m eager to contribute to this year’s Pacific Games.”

Waqa-Paul highlighted the presence of other experienced players in the squad, such as Alisi Naqiri, Vakaoca Bolakoro, Una Rauluni, Kelera Nawai and Afa Rusivakula. She stressed their collective goal to mentor the younger players through their Pacific Games journey.

“I’ve played through the years with different coaches since 2006 and I have learned a lot in terms of the experience, talking about the different styles of play, as experienced players involved in the Pacific Games, our role is to guide the younger talents during this journey.”

“We are helping each other on the court and we know that we will have to guide our young players, right now the team are doing well in terms of fitness and we know that we are ready to take the court in the Solomon Islands.”

“I’m rooting for the young players in the squad to bring their best performance when we compete in the Solomon Islands.”



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