A look back at Master Moape’s legacy

During happier days. Master Moape Ravudolo. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Master Moape Ravudolo was an inspiration to many- his students, teacher colleagues, and netball and volleyball players, technical officials, umpires and coaches.

He left a legacy that will be hard to fill. He contributed immensely as a teacher, umpire, player and coach during his sporting career.

Last year, Master Moape celebrated his 50th birthday.

He was better known to many of us as Master Mopcy due to his jovial nature and great sportsmanship qualities.

Master Moape’s contribution to Netball Fiji was immense, as he was Netball Fiji’s umpire coordinator and was co-opted as a member of Netball Fiji’s executive team.

I read this statement from Netball Fiji, “He gave so much to the sport of netball and will be remembered for his influential role in growing the umpire body of netball in Fiji, as well as his love and commitment to the development of grassroots, primary and district clubs and teams for over 30 years.With his passion for netball, Master Moape was well-respected and loved by those that crossed paths with him in all areas of the sport as a committed umpire, player, coach and administrator”, it was touching tribute.

According to Waisale Suka, who teaches at International Primary School and has represented Fiji in beach volleyball, Master Moape was a fighter, and he always wanted to win.

Suka and Master Moape were rivals on the court.

Master Moape played as the shooter for Nasinu, while Suka played as the defender for Suva.

Suka and Moape were drafted in the first national men’s team that toured Australia.

They were part of the Fiji team that drew against Australia here in Fiji at the World Men’s and Mixed Netball.

According to Suva Grammar schoolteacher Navitalai Naivalu, Master Moape inspired him to become a teacher, and taught him all the tricks of netball.

Naivalu said Master Moape’s training techniques had been useful, and he used the techniques with his Suva Grammar netball team.

Navi and Mater Moape have shared memories with the Tailevu, Veiyasana, Tagimoucia and Abaze netball clubs, and the duo won business house titles as well.

I first met Master Moape in 2008 when I was elected the chairperson of Fiji Teachers Union (FTU) Suva branch.

Master Moape, a dedicated and committed FTU member, took part in all FTU Annual Conferences and Southern Zone sports meet, and he was part of FTU Suva men’s volleyball team.

He guided our men’s volleyball team to many titles and always gave credit to the team.

He was named FTU men’s volleyball player on many occasions.

This year, he would have represented the FTU Suva men’s volleyball team in Rakiraki, but the annual conference was postponed because of COVID-19.

I had a tough time persuading him for the trip to Rakiraki.

According to him, his time was up, as he was past 50, but he kept going.

He will be dearly missed by his family, the staff members and students of Delainamasi Primary School, the members of FTU and FTU Suva branch and FTU Suva volleyball players, to whom he was a fatherly figure.

He was close to me, and I loved his spirit and fun and caring nature. We have lost a true friend and a dear union member.

Until that glorious morning, ni moce mada … rest in peace Mopcy!

n Rajnesh Lingam is the assistant general secretary and chairperson for FTU Suva branch and also a regular contributor to this newspaper. The views expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of this newspaper.

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