Bombala first grade footballer and Blue Heeler captain Joe Bobbin, along with players Murray Jackson and Paul Perkins, travelled to Fiji to hold a number of coaching clinics for locals earlier this month.
Bobbin said the Bombala first grade team was supported this year by Fijian players Sami Buinimasi and Wame Belolevu.
“The guys have come to play footy for Bombala and used the opportunity to work while they were here – and they sent nearly every cent they earned back to their families in Fiji.”
The Bombala players decided to travel to Fiji and run a couple of football clinics for locals, which they paid for “off their own back”.
They spent some time in Nabua in Fiji, the home of Belolevu and Buinimasi, where they ran a two and a half hour footy clinic for the Nabua under 14s before they watched the Nabua Broncos first grade team play the Topline Warriors.
“We got to watch Wame play for his home team which was really great. Sami normally plays with them too but he wasn’t there for that game,” Bobbin said.
Bobbin went on to say that the Fijians were very generous people and told the story of one of the young Fijian lads that showed up to the footy clinic wearing only one shoe.
“I asked him why he was wearing only one shoe and he told me that his friend didn’t have any shoes so he was lending him one of his own.
“They are very humble people,” Bobbin said.
“While we were in Fiji we got to meet with Wame and Sami’s families, their friends and the people they trained and played with.
“It gave us a perspective of where and how they live and where they play football,” Bobbin said.
The Bombala guys had a kit made up to take with them that included half Bombala Blue Heelers and half Broncos gear that was sponsored by local businesses.
“The Fijians were very hospitable and made us feel very welcome,” Bobbin said.