The Fiji Water Flying Fijians have launched the “London to Bordeaux” Cardio Challenge, covering 1,560 kilometers from London to their Rugby World Cup 2023 base camp in Bordeaux, aiming to raise funds for WOWS Kids Fiji.
Each player and coaching staff member will cover 30km aimed at keeping the players in peak physical condition but also engaging in a cause that reconnects and reminds the players who they represent when the Rugby World Cup 2023 kicks off in about 10 days.
Announcing the initiative via Zoom call from London this morning, coach Simon Raiwalui said the idea was initiated by the team’s strength and conditioning coach Naca Cawanibuka while the team was considering activities for their recovery phase after five demanding Test matches, aiming to combine rejuvenation with maintaining focus for RWC2023.
“We want to keep the players engaged with some sort of physical activity and keep them mentally engaged – so we thought talking to Naca how do we reconnect this to our core values, which are honesty, consistency and discipline and enjoyment,” Raiwalui said.
“This is a further engagement with our people for a beautiful cause, for a special cause. The more spotlight the more we can shine on the cause.”
Cawanibuka recognised the option to support various organisations, but the decision to back WOWS was driven by its impactful work, low awareness, financial needs, and the resonance between the challenges faced by the children and families dealing with cancer parallel the efforts and dedication required by the players to participate in the rugby camp.
“Most of the boys don’t know what WOWs is and the cancer program in Fiji is, not too many people know about it as well. There are little kids in Fiji who are battling and who are fighting this disease and quite unfortunate that some have been born with it as well, there are families who go through difficulties, so the thought is to get some exercise and generate some awareness and funds to go towards a worthy cause. And for the boys, connect them back to the people and know that some of these kids come from remote areas of Fiji and similar to the challenges that some of us have come through – finding transport to come into the main centres, which requires effort, time and money. Our children out there and families who battle these apart from the battle of the flesh, the sickness they battle with on a daily basis. It is something that is quite important and means a lot to the players and the staff.”
Distance Covered and Appeal to The Public
Starting on Monday, August 28, the team has completed about half of the journey, with 700 kilometers remaining.
To ensure the initiative’s success and maximise its impact, the Fiji Water Flying Fijian Players and Coaches urge everyone – individuals, groups, schools, businesses, hotels, and communities – to contribute to their effort of raising funds for children with cancer at WOWS Kids.
They invite anyone willing to support to contribute to the WOWS kids fundraiser, as a way of expressing gratitude for the widespread support they have received from the Fijian community, particularly the children.
“We are appealing for funds for a worthy cause. We have no limits, whatever people can give whether its $1 or $2 or whatever surplus you have put it towards the cause,” Raiwalui said.
FIJI Water Foundation Support
The Fiji Water Foundation will match everyone’s donation up to $50,000.
Cawanibuka expressed his gratitude for the partnership, noting, “The involvement of the Fiji Water Flying Fijians will bring much-needed attention to child cancer in Fiji and the devastating journey the 80+ children and their families go through.
To keep fans and the community engaged, the Flying Fijians will document their daily progress in the form of videos and photos which will be disseminated across various social media platforms.
Donations via M-PAISA:
Can be made through the app under Business payments and searching for Fiji Rugby Football Union Trust Board.
Donations via Bank Transfer:
Account Name: FRFUTB-FWFF WOWS FOR KIDS FUND
FJD Account Number: 9808238449
Swift Code: WPACFJFX (for overseas transfer)