Fijians are widely known for their rugby ability, but there is a grassroots cricket movement taking off. Growing up on Fiji’s Coral Coast, Marica Vua had never seen the game of cricket. Now she is one of its stars and wants to make sure every Fijian is introduced to the game. There are many good reasons to play – to exercise and get healthy, have fun and socialise, and engage with the community. As a Cricket Development Officer, Marica runs island cricket matches for women, including in her home village of Galoa. These matches give women a safe space to get active and show their skills, boosting confidence and creating healthy habits.
The program is part of the $29 million Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP), Australia’s sport for development program delivering real benefits to people and communities across the Pacific. Under the PSP, Cricket Australia also has programs in PNG, Samoa and Vanuatu all working to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases and inequalities experienced by women, girls and people living with a disability. For leaders like Marica, the program gives her both a chance to be a role model and share the game she loves with her community.
Thanks to Marica Vua, Fiji is being bowled over by cricket