From Geraldine Panapasa in Fiji (19 May 2007)
New Era for Satarua
Satarua Sports Club is fast becoming one of the main sports team participating in the Rotuma games in Fiji. Formed in 1991 by players from Suva based Ra’esea, Satarua is creating history in volleyball and rugby at the annual games. Previous wins include netball B title in 1998 and 2001.
In 2004 they savored a minor win when they won the rugby B title. However this only marked the beginning of a strong sports team. In 2005 the volleyball tournament was held in Lautoka hosted by Mairo even though Satarua was supposed to host the tournament for that year. Because of financial difficulties and last minute formation of a new committee, they were not able to host.
Despite this, the team managed to participate in the tournament and surprisingly managed to win the women’s A grade title for the first time in their sports club history. This was not their only win at the games; they also picked up best-dressed team award and the best disciplined women’s team. There were no awards given for best players even though there were quite a lot of exceptional players on the different teams.
Following in October were the rugby and netball tournaments, which again were hosted by Mairo. The burning west weather provided perfect conditions for the games. The finals of the rugby games also added to the success of Satarua as they grabbed both the A and B rugby grade titles, a first for any team in the history of the Rotuma games. They faced tough competition from the NZ Rotuman team as well as from Suva neighbors Ra’esea but with the help of national reps Ricco Panapasa and Tuilakepa Faktaufon they prevailed. Netball standards have improved compared to previous years, but still Satarua remains winless in this game since 2001. Instead, netball players were recognized for their efforts and improvements after being awarded the most-improved player award in 2002, best-player B in 2005 and 2006 as well as outstanding goal-shooter in 2006.
In 2006 Nadi’s Granville team hosted the first round of the Rotuma games beginning with the volleyball tournament. Games were held at CAFF’s compound and perfect weather conditions meant a day filled with fun and laughter. Laughter and happiness for team Satarua was on a high, especially when they managed to maintain their women’s A grade title two years in a row. That was their only volleyball win; however, in the rugby and netball competitions held in Suva and hosted by Ra’esea, Satarua looked dominating as they won both rugby titles two years consecutively. No other team has ever won the rugby B titles three years in a row as well as both rugby grade titles for two years. The standard of netball continued to improve as the best player and outstanding goal-shooter named in the netball B grade were from Satarua; Satarua was also runners-up in the B grade competition, losing by only a few points to Sarafui; and in rugby the best forward player and best B rugby player awards were given to Satarua. Overall points saw Satarua and Ra’esea draw and the trophy was shared.
The beginning of the 2007 volleyball tournament also marked an important event. Satarua hosted the volleyball tournament at the Suva Grammer grounds on May 4-5 and despite the busy schedule of organizing the days events, they managed to create history by winning the women’s A grade title three years in a row and for the first time in their club history to record a win in the women’s B grade. Both wins meant Satarua is the first team to win the women’s volleyball for both grades, including the A grade in three straight years, uncontested. Apart from those wins, best player awards for the women’s grades were given to Satarua’s A captain, Monica Vaurasi (nee Grey), and Susana Konrote.