Tuesday 2nd February, 2016
Playing rugby was never the first choice for Team Fijiana captain 29-year-old Ana Maria Roqica, a sport where she continues to stamp her mark as one of the country's best.
The Vakativa, Cakaudrove lass who started taking part in sports mainly athletics and netball while still in Primary school in Nabukavesi.
"My father Iosefa Roqica was also a sporting man as he took part in soccer and rugby, playing both on representative and national levels," she said.
"So sports played a huge role for me growing up, mainly participating in netball and athletics."
But is hasn't been all fun and games for Ana Maria as her father was not supportive when she first took up the sport of rugby in 2007.
"At first my father was angry because he said it was a man's game," she said.
"But I think he was afraid I would get hurt playing."
The eldest of three siblings said her father first saw her playing in 2011 at the New Caledonia Pacific Games which was aired live in Fiji.
"Ever since then my father has seen how good I am in the game and has been supportive of me ever since," said Ana Maria.
Meanwhile Ana Maria’s mother has been a staunch supporter of her children Ana Maria and sister Rusila Nagasau who also plays for Team Fijiana.
Ana Maria continues to lead her team in achieving their goals in every tournament since being named captain back in 2011.
Being one of the veterans of the side, Ana Maria has always led by example and continues to help strengthen women’s rugby and develop new players.
"I would like to take my love for the sport further so I have been participating in some coaching courses.
"So after my playing career is over I can still contribute to the development of the sport in the country," said Ana Maria.
The Team Fijiana side last year booked a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Last Modified on 05/07/2016 09:57