Blue ribbon within reach for Grammar’s Baravilala

Salote Baravilala of Suva Grammar School is heading into the Coca Cola Games determined to finish high school as the 2020 queen of the tracks.

She set a new Suva Zone II record time of 25.78s in the senior girls 200m event on top of winning the 100m with a personal best of 12.3s. Baravilala currently has the fastest time  in the blue ribbon event, heading into the Coca-Cola Games National Championship.

The Coca-Cola Games National Championship more commonly known as the Coke Games will be held from April 16 to April 18 at the ANZ National Stadium at Laucala.

The Kadavu lass began her athletics career at Jasper Williams High School in Lautoka in 2017 before she transferred to Adi Cakobau School in 2018. Last year she was back in the purple colours of Jasper.

“This is my final year of secondary school and I want to achieve my goal. I want to win that blue ribbon,” Baravilala said.

The 2020 blue ribbon is part of her long term goal to win a national scholarship to continue her athletics career abroad in the example of former high school athletics queens Ana Kaloucava (ACS), Sisilia Seavula (SJSS), Fane Sauvakacolo (SGS) and Heleina Young (SJSS).

The strategy included joining a winning school with a track record and a good coach. Baravilala was not oblivious to the rise of Suva Grammar School which had taken place over the past several years.

Joining the lions den has already had an impact on the now very lean and faster Baravilala. Training under former Pacific champion and long time SGS coach Jone Delai has seemingly made a difference for Baravilala.

“He doesn’t let me slacken off. With other coaches i have worked with, if I miss training some days, they won’t bother me. This coach reminds me daily that I have talent that not everyone gets and I shouldn’t waste it,” the 19 year old said.

“He reminds me that many people have the talent but the difference is if i work hard.”

Baravilala is keeping an eye out for former Adi Cakobau School schoolmate, Serenia Ragatu, an import from Bua who is rumored to have returned to a school in her home province.

“She’s the main competition and I have to work very hard to compete with her. I will make the sacrifice and that means i have to give up anything that won’t help me with training. I have only six weeks,” Baravilala.

Suva Grammar School took out six of the eight gold medals on offer in the 200 meter events from both the girls and boys division.

The school’s girl team ended their Suva Zone Two campaign with 23 gold, 14 silver and 15 bronze medals. The boys collected 23 gold, 25 silver and 11 bronze.

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