Grace Jale the Football Fern who has links to Fiji finally visited her homeland for a well-deserved post-tournament break thanks to Tourism Fiji.
The Football Fern also had the pleasure of spending some quality time with Suva’s U16 female football team as she took them through their paces at a training session.
With plenty of tips and tricks, Jale was thrilled to pass on advice to the emerging talent – describing the experience as a full circle moment and a wonderful opportunity to give back to young women in Fiji.
Jale says what makes Fiji so special is its people, and in particular for her was the young girls of the U16 team who were a true delight to train with.
Their smiles and laughter throughout the session were incredible – they are so positive and, of course, very talented.
Suva's U16 Football Team coach, Angeline Chua says for many of the girls, this is the first time they've met and trained with a female professional footballer.
Chua says this experience has bolstered their belief in building a career from their football dreams.
Seeing how far Jale has come has taught them that they too can excel at a sport they are passionate about.
Tourism Fiji Regional Director for New Zealand to Fiji, Sonya Lawson says they are delighted to welcome Grace Jale to Fiji as she really did both Fiji and New Zealand proud in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Lawson says they are thrilled to welcome her to our beautiful shores for some much needed rest and recuperation, to share our Bula spirit and experience some of what Fiji has to offer, and to pass on her passion and football skills to young Fijians.
She says what’s even more special is that this was Grace’s very first time in Fiji.
Lawson says they love sharing Fiji’s magic with first time visitors and it has been a pleasure to welcome Grace home to the beautiful islands of Fiji.
She adds such partnerships not only promote Fiji's landscapes and vibrant traditions, tapping into its second largest visitor market, but also highlights Tourism Fiji’s commitment to community, authenticity and maximizing the value of sports tourism.
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