Naucukidi is FRU’s new Women’s Rugby Development Officer



Ms Vela Naucukidi has been appointed as the Women’s Development Officer for Fiji Rugby Union. The post was created after a recommendation from World Rugby increase the focus on women’s rugby.

Ms Naucukidi takes over from Ms Elenoa Kunatabua who moved to Papua New Guinea last year to coach their National Women’s rugby team.

Naucukidi was a senior writer for Teivovo rugby magazine and working for FRU is not new to her. Whilst as a rugby writer, she worked with FRU when Teivovo was handling Marketing, Sponsorship and Media for rugby house. Her vast knowledge on rugby, wider network in the media, local and abroad and a lot of experience as a former President for Fiji Women’s Rugby Union, and Manager for the Fijiana 7s team will be an advantage for the role.

“It’s an honour to be given this challenging role and I believe my passion for rugby motivated me to take it,” Ms Naucukidi said.

Ms Naucukidi managed the Fijiana 7s team the first IRB satellite 7s tournament that was hosted in Port Moresby in 2007. In that tour they thrashed Samoa twice in a day, Samoa were all New Zealand based players. In the same year she held the President post for the Fiji Women’s Rugby Union.

A year later, she managed the team again to the World Cup 7s qualifier that was staged in Samoa. Fijiana finished third but the first two teams, New Zealand and Australia, played in the final of the first women’s world cup final. In 2011 she again managed the team to the Pacific Games in New Caledonia where they won Gold.

Given her media background and with her critical view of Rugby House, Ms Naucukidi has some new views now that she is “inside the fence”.

“On my second week on the job, I was invited to be part of the strategic planning session that was held of site. After the two days workshop my whole perspective about FRU changed.”

The FRU management were present and discussed were the roles of each department. “It was an eye opener to finally realise the amount of work that goes on in Rugby House and in most cases when the national team do not perform or anything goes wrong we start blaming those that works full time at FRU.” “But they can only do much. We need to all work together, fans, media, stakeholders and sponsors,” she added.

Ms Naucukidi also mentioned that though she has a lot of experience, her new role is another step up.

“Though I am based at Rugby House, my work is monitored by World Rugby and that will require a lot of up skilling for me to be able to meet my Key Performance Indicators.”

FRU Development Manager Sale Sorovaki said Ms Naucukidi’s addition to his department is an added boost. “The position is funded by World Rugby and Vela brings a whole lot of skills, not only to the Development Unit but to Fiji Rugby,” Mr Sorovaki said.

He said that Vela’s experience is attributed to her role as an administrator for Fiji Women’s Rugby for the last 10years and her role at Teivovo Magazine before joining FRU. “I am excited at the prospect of Vela’s inclusion. She is here to head to women’s programme and create awareness and in the end hopefully to see the growth in the women’s game,” Mr Sorovaki added.

Ms Naucukidi will also assist facilitate World Rugby’s “Get Into Rugby” (GIR) programs in Fiji this year.

When not at work Ms Naucukidi is a movie maniac and also loves her quality time with daughters Jessie Delailomaloma (9years) and Josifini Delailomaloma (6years).

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