12th December 02:30 AM
The extraordinary story of Jerry Tuwai
By Rusiate Baleilevuka
Tuesday 14/10/2014

As the nation celebrates the victory of the Vodafone Fiji 7s team at the Gold Coast 7s on Sunday night, Poasa Vunisa, the father of new 7s star Jerry Tuwai, had tears of joy.

Speaking to Fijivillage yesterday afternoon, Vunisa said while watching his son finally doing what he was always aiming to do and seeing their neighbors shouting out his son’s name, he had tears in his eyes.

Vunisa said that he never misses Tuwai’s games and always finds a way to watch him play around Fiji even if he had no money.

The 54-year-old shared how he slept on the streets in Nadi town to make sure he farewelled his son who was part of the Davetalevu 7s side which won the World Club Sevens in Ireland two months ago.

Vunisa said on that day he was only supposed to drop Tuwai at the minibus stand in Suva as he did not have enough money to reach Nadi.

Two hours later, Vunisa managed to find some cash which took him as far as Sigatoka.

He said after reaching Sigatoka, he met a family friend who gave him $50 which helped him reach Nadi to farewell his son.

Vunisa said Tuwai knows the reality of their struggle and has been sacrificing a lot of things to help his siblings and parents.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, the Newtown neighborhood in Nasinu erected a shed, ran a power cord all the way from a nearby shop to their home and put up a big screen to ensure that Tuwai’s parents watch their son in action.

Tuwai’s parents do not have electricity at their home.

The same neighbours are now putting in money for mini van fare to ensure that Tuwai’s parents will be at Nadi Airport tomorrow morning.

Jerry Tuwai comes from Buca, Cakaudrove, with maternal links to Nailaga, Ba.

Meanwhile the Fiji 7s team were welcomed by the Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou and more than hundred fans who turned up at the Nadi International Airport this morning.  

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