A Dream Come True for Grammar Rugger; Honours Single Mum 

Joseph Waqaivolavola is a twin. He and his twin Jimmy are students of Suva Grammar School and both play for the school’s U16 rugby team. As twins go, Joseph and Jimmy have stuck together from when they were born till today.

Yet from tomorrow, the twins will part and go their separate way for a few years.

At Suva Grammar School today, Joseph was farewelled by the school principal and his rugby coach Epeli Osborne as his teachers from Oita Maizuru High School in Japan and his uncle and aunt looked on.

Joseph’s road to the scholarship is one filled with snippets of talent, monumental family sacrifice, and defining moments filled with the grace and mercy of God.

When asked about his rugby journey and his motivation, a teary Joseph attributed his success and the attaining of the scholarship to his mother, Leona Reece.

“My mother is a single mum. The little she had she sacrificed so that we, her 5 children could live and go to school. I watched my mother struggle for us so for me, when I was told of this scholarship to study and play rugby in Japan all I could think of was my mother.

“She worked so hard and right now she’s overseas because she wants to give us her children a better life. I want to be successful when I go to Japan so I can give back to my mother and my family here in Fiji, my aunt and uncle and all the family here,” an emotional Joseph said.

His coach Epeli Osborne said the choosing of Joseph came as no surprise and it was a beautiful reminder that coaching such as teaching goes a long way in a student’s life.

“We do what we do because our passion is in the sport, and because I went through Grammar my heart has always been to give back to this school so when opportunities like this one came for Joseph it made all the hours of training so worthwhile.”

Suva Grammar School principal Iosefo Masivue said the scholarship for Joseph was a huge boost to the students of the school.

“We are so proud of Joseph and we know that he will go to Japan and do SGS proud, he will represent his family well and most of all the nation of Fiji.”

Joseph’s uncle, Joseph Reece shared that the scholarship for his nephew was a blessing.

“We are very thankful to Oita Maizuru School for picking Joseph and we know as a family that my nephew will give his best in his education and in his rugby career too. For us as a family, we wish him all the best and we send him to Japan with our blessings.”

About being apart from his twin for the first time in their lives?

“It won’t be easy. It was hard for him (Jimmy) to take it but we talked and we both agreed that this is a future we always talked about so he’s okay now and has told me that he will be supporting me all the way. I will also do the same while I’m there, I will support him too,” the lanky lad from Bau said.

Oita Maizuru High School’s Rugby Director, Morio Nakagawa said they were privileged to be welcoming Joseph into their establishment.

“We will work on making sure he makes the Japan U18 national squad and will help him also achieve the best with his academic work. He joins other Fiji students that are already with us and everyone back home is looking forward to having him at the school.”

If there were stories that should inspire any human, it is ones such as these that tell a tale as old as time, that hard work, integrity and purpose can never be underrated.

The young lad departs Fiji for Japan early tomorrow morning.

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