Rugby League is an important part of the Naiqama family history. Growing up I always adored my brothers Wesley and Kevin. That adoration hasn’t altered one inch however my respect for them and what they do has been heightened greatly.
My childhood involves spending up to 8 hours per week at our local football ground. Hanging around the canteen with younger siblings of the boys my brothers played with is a fond memory I carry.
Wesley, he’s an analytical player and Kevin, he is a speedster in his own right. Being a little sister of these two has its perks such as access to advice about anything sport related and downside, well the lecture of “don’t kiss any footballers because its affects us too“. #realtawk
This week we packed ourselves into 2 cars, left Sydney before the break of dawn and embarked on our journey to Tamworth. We watched on as Kevin played his 100th first grade game. It was a very proud moment for us all. I was present in 2010 when he debuted for the Knights at AAMI Park in Melbourne and couldn’t help but think of the challenges he would have faced along the way to reach this incredible milestone in his career.
It took 11 years for Wesley to cap 161 games and 8 years for Kevin to cap 100 games. I’m not bragging but now as a growing rugby player I know those caps don’t come easy.
I have become so frustrated and disheartened that I’m not where I want to be with my footy but I am humbled (yet again) at the thought of “nothing worth having comes easy“.
I sat down earlier this week with Kev and asked him, what three things have influenced your career?, this is what he shared with me.
1. “I don’t want to sound religious but it’s true. God is why I am here”.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Kevin has been praised and ridiculed for his faith on the field. Being his room mate I have witnessed first hand the weight of this truth in his life.
“Always keeping God first“, is what has kept him grounded throughout his footy, both the good and the bad. The scripture mentioned above has been, what he believes, a constant reminder that ultimately, God is always in control.
2. “Family is the strongest currency of support”.
Kevin says it better so I’ll just quote him completely.
“Family can’t be bought. They’ve shown me what support looks like. They are my day-ones and the fact we’ve struggled together and seeing where I am today, makes it all a little more special”.
I feel that bro. Key take away here is, support is vital in every season of life. Don’t do the journey alone, take people with you. We all need each other.
3. “Hard work and more hard work!”.
“I realised I was talented from a young age. Some stuff that came easy to me, didn’t for some boys I played with and against. Talent only goes so far, you have to work hard to play quality football and progress”.
This out of the 3 really resonated with me. Too often we rely on our “natural talent” to take us to our dream. Truth is, talent works hand in hand with blood, sweat and tears. We disregard the small stuff such as turning up and being consistent because our self-righteousness comes out in full force.
In conclusion of all of this, I am really proud of Kevin. Before he is a Fiji Bati Captain, or a NRL professional who has capped 100 games, he is my brother and annoying room mate.
So dear friend, regardless of what you’re aiming for, trust the process. Determine what it is you want to achieve, how you are going to get there and keep at it. After all, if it was easy everyone would have it. I’m speaking to myself more than anyone when I say that.
Blessings and love,
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