The Students’ Association body at The University of the South Pacific (USP) is excited to put on a cultural performance during the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua game against the Queensland Reds on Saturday (June 3, 2023.)
Organised by the various Students’ Associations, the cultural performance aims to showcase cultural diversity and the inclusivity of the region’s premier institute.
Tongan Student representative Mele Samoa Vailea, one of the students who will be performing on game day, said, “The Fijian Drua does not only represent Fiji, you are the pride of the Pacific in Super Rugby, and you represent the region and all its island countries.”
Ms Vailea added, “The cultural performance on Saturday from our Tongan students not only represents the Island Kingdom but also shows the world the Pacific way and unique culture of our large ocean state.”
The game will open with the USP Students’ Association performance that begins at 2.45pm, at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva before the match starts tomorrow.
The Fijian Student Association representative Patrick Yalimai is among the participating students excited to showcase their talent and cultural performance in support of the Fijian Drua.
He added, “Being part of the cultural performance group on Saturday is a privilege. I am proud to represent my I-Taukei culture but more so, to represent USP and promote the cultural aspect of the Pacific that the Fijian Drua has been promoting throughout their games.”
“I am looking forward to the game and honoured to be part of this initiative. To the Drua players, do your best and let God do the rest. Win or lose, mostly winning, we’ll always be there to support you.”
As part of the cultural performance organised by the institute and the Fijian Drua, the USPSA bodies will also be part of the thrilling Pepsi Half time show entertain spectators and showcase more of what USP offers.
The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua team continues to inspire and gain new fans, with students from Papua New Guinea (PNG) joining the cultural performance.
PNG Student Paul Haroro said, “The season Fijian Drua joined Super Rugby, my unwavering support for my then favourite team, Crusaders started to sway slightly. It just so happens that when the Swire ShippingFijian Drua started playing, I was studying in Fiji; now, noticing how they’ve grown, a team from our region, I can proudly say that the Drua makes my two-favourite team in Super Rugby.”
Haroro added, “Whether the Fijian Drua wins or loses, know that the whole region, connected by one ocean, is behind you with its full support. It’s very simple; when one Pacific country makes it, we all make it.”
With some Pacific islanders playing for the Queensland Reds team, the loyalty of some of our students will be in question, as was mentioned by Tongan Student representative Ms Vailea, “On Saturday, some of our Tongan brothers will be playing for the Reds, so I am supporting them also because they are also Pacific Islanders, but it’s all about Drua and our Tongan brothers. I will be cheering for Meli Derenalagi.
Since I came to Fiji, that’s the only player I know, so it will be Meli.”
The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and the Queensland Reds game will kick off at 4.35pm tomorrow.