‘Tex’ wins top gong

Tevita Ikanivere deliveres his speech after receiving the head Coach’s Award during the Fiji Airways Drua Awards night at Sofitel Fiji Resort & spa Denarau, Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua standout player Tevita Ikanivere was the big winner at the first-ever awards ceremony held to celebrate the team’s achievements in the 2023 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific competition.

Taking home the Fiji Airways Head Coach’s award and the Swire Shipping Dausoko award, known as “Tex” to his teammates, Ikanivere was praised for his outstanding leadership and performance both off and on the field.

“I did not expect to get this,” said an emotional Ikanivere after accepting his second award of the night.

“I know about 20 other players in this team that could have gotten this award.

“I want to thank coach (Mick Byrne) for believing in me this year.

“I would like to thank everyone, boss (Mark Evans) and all of the management team and coaches for helping me become better on and off the field.”

He said the support from his family had also been instrumental to his success this season.

“To my family, thank you. My mother who is here for her support. To my girlfriend Francis and her family, thank you for your support.”

The 24-year-old’s mother, Olimaipa Bogiciwa, said she still could not believe her son’s success this season.

“I’m very humbled by all of this,” she said.

“It has been very unbelievable.”

She said one of the main reasons for her son’s success had been his perseverance.

“He is a really disciplined boy. A very hard worker.”

Bogiciwa said she would always support him as he continued his career with the Fijian Drua team.

“He will always have my support. And I know that his late grandparents, who brought him up on a farm in Waila, would also be very proud of him and his success.”

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