Jone Fights Depression Through Sports

By: Celeste Larkin

A severe accident left Jone Bogidrau an amputee and suffering from a self-doubt which swiftly turned to depression for over five years but sports bought about a new outlook on life.

The new Sports and Training Outreach Programme (STOP) Champion who hails from Nasigatoka, Rewa said his battle with depression after his accident was what he considered the lowest point of his life.

When Jone was 25, he was out partying with friends, drunk and doped up. While getting on the bus home, he slipped, the bus running over his leg. He remembers in hospital thinking "it's the end of the world" when he was told his leg would have to be amputated.

Jone who is now 33-years-old spent the next five years struggling to accept what had happened to him, how his life had taken a turn down a path he never intended.

Through that time Jone's friends never gave up on him, and were always encouraging him not to be ashamed. "It was a turning point for me, my friends support, and also my Christian belief, I knew I could do good things".

In 2012, Jone was approached by Athletics Fiji to consider competing. Having loved sports before his accident, Jone took the opportunity with arms wide open.

Initially trying javelin and then changing to shotput, he represented Fiji at the Regional and Oceania tournaments.

Jone not only trains for his sport, but also coaches the next generation of athletes with disabilities.

"My mission is to be a role model and show the community that having a disability can actually give you more ability" said Jone.

His presence radiates positivity, and not for a moment would you think this gentleman had been through a five year depression.

FASANOC is excited to have Jone as one of its Champions.

STOP Coordinator Jeegar Bhasvar said this was the first time that they have included athletes with disabilities and to have Jone, who already gives so much back to the community, was exciting for them.

Jone lives a life that epitomises the character of STOP Champions, which is healthy living and a drug free lifestyle.

"Having a farm, with taro and cassava crops, as well as 15 cows, I have always eaten very healthily, and because of my faith I don't drink or smoke".

Jone feels honoured to be a role model for the community, and wants to encourage people with disabilities to push outside their comfort zone and try sports, particularly for the positive mental benefits.

Sometimes Jone experiences bullying from people in the community, but he says "I don't let that get me down; if anything it gives me strength to prove them wrong".

In the future he hopes the communities see people's ability rather than their disability.


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STOP HIV Champion - Anolyn Lulu