By: Nicolette Chambers - FASANOC VOLUNTEER JOURNALIST
More than ten years ago she made a deal with her mum in learning how to swim and it has brought her to where she is today.
Twenty-year-old Matelita Buadromo is thankful to her mum, Tipo Buadromo, who encouraged her to take up swimming when she was just five-years-old.
The young lass was also inspired by her sister, Joelyn Buadromo, who also represented Fiji in swimming at the 2003 South Pacific Games here in Fiji.
“I learnt how to swim because my sister started swimming but I only did it just to learn, I didn’t enjoy it at first,” she said.
“The first time I just started crying because I didn’t like swimming at all and so the deal I made with my mum was that I’ll just learn how to swim.”
Buadromo, who was brought up in the capital city says, she is giving her all to make her family and her country proud at the upcoming Rio 2016 event.
“I am currently doing a lot of intensive training as I began a high performance training in November till now and it has helped me a lot,” Buadromo added.
She hopes to qualify on merit for the Olympic Games.
“No one in Fiji swimming has ever qualified on merit for the Olympic Games as we’ve just been going on invitation so I’ve been training in Brisbane and I’ve just got back and I’m going back again next weekend,” she continued.
“There’s been a big significant drop in my times and I’m really close to my qualifying time so that’s my preparation towards Rio.”
“And a male and female from swimming have been selected to be invited for the Olympic Games and currently Meli Malani and I are going but our goal is to actually qualify on merit so that’s our main goal at the moment.”
However, despite all the training and preparation towards the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, she adds balancing training with school work is a bit of a challenge for the Lauan native.
“The biggest challenge for me is probably having to balance swimming with school because of the number of times we have training but it was a challenge and I think my coach helped me balance it all,” she said.
“I train every day except for Sundays so two sessions every day. I have nine swim sessions a week and two gyms and there a lot of sacrifices that I make my friends do all the time but I think I’m very lucky as not many people my age get to experience what I’ve experienced and I’m grateful.”
Over the years, Buadromo has learnt that not only will sports provide many opportunities for her, but it will also connect her to the rest of the world.
“I learnt that swimming has had the biggest impact in my life in terms of gaining discipline, time managing and appreciating opportunities, but I have also learnt that sports can connect you to the rest of the world by the many different people you meet and make friendship,” she added.
“I also learnt that without the support from my families and friends, I couldn’t have made it through to where I am today.”
The young athlete advices feature swimmers to always believe in themselves and work towards their goal.
“Never be afraid of anything,” she said.
“As long as you enjoy doing what you love and have the will to work towards your dream, anything is possible.”