Sharks coach John Morris put plenty of smiles on the faces of local Fijian children recently when he dropped into the villages of VoliVoli and Navuevu while on a family holiday.
Accompanied by wife Michelle and his three children, Morris turned up unannounced, surprising the local kids, running them through a few rugby league skills and drills in an impromptu training session, before handing out Sharks gear including clothing, posters, footballs and books.
His visit was a massive hit with the local youngsters and one they are set to remember for some time.
On holiday at the Shangri-La Coral Coast, Morris met a couple of fathers who worked on the resort and was quick to jump at their request to come out and spread the rugby league gospel amongst the children of their villages.
“It was a great opportunity to use the family holiday to reach out to some local Fijian kids and surprise them with a little coaching session in their village,” Morris said. “I know how much they love their footy over there and on the back of what Fijian players in Sivo, Vunivalu and Kikau have done in the NRL recently there is a huge interest in rugby league.
“I see a real breeding ground for rugby league talent in Fiji and I would love to do more with Fiji Rugby League to help more local talent transition into the NRL.”
And while the visit was embraced by the locals he came into contact with, the Morris clan also came away with a greater understanding and appreciation of Fijian values, principles and culture.
“It was not only a very special experience for me personally but also for my wife and kids as well. It was great for my children to learn about the Fijian culture,” Morris added.