Following the successful events held on the 13 June, the final monies have been received and a presentation event has been held at Marie Therese House, Hayle where Sereli is an in-patient. Sam Matavesi said: “It is fantastic to see the event being wrapped up and we are able to present a cheque to Marie Therese House to show our appreciation of the time, effort and support that they have given to our dad.”
The day’s event was the idea of Sireli and his three sons. Sireli Matavesi suffered a life changing event in 2014; an operation to save his life caused him to be paralysed. He received treatment in Salisbury before moving to Marie Therese House in Hayle, where he has undergone intensive physiotherapy to aid his recovery.
He wanted to raise funds for Marie Therese House and other causes close to his heart. Sereli said: “I will be forever indebted to all the staff at Marie Therese House, but also all of the people who were involved with the day in so many ways. I will not single out people but just a massive thanks to all the sponsors, players, Camborne RFC, people who generously donated items, and of course the Cornish public who came along on the day to support me and my three boys.”
The fundraising day took place on Saturday 13 June at Camborne RFC, where a number of events took place. There were three rugby matches: Marie Therese House Staff v Bawden’s select team; a Fijian Barbarians team V Camborne Vets; and culminating in the Matavesi Select XV versus a Camborne Select XV. The main game was watched by a crowd of just under 3,000, the largest at the Recreation ground for some time. Some typical barbarians’ style out of hand running rugby was enjoyed for the full 80 minutes, with the final score being Matavesi XV 71 – 42 Camborne Select XV. The thee Matavesi sons played the first half for their Matavesi XV, then changed kit and played the second half for their beloved Cherry & Whites.
The captain of the Matavesi XV was youngest son Joel. He said: “It was such a special day for dad and all the family and to be able to provide a cheque to the value of £17,495.80 to Marie Therese House is a real bonus. Joel also wanted to express the thanks of brother Josh, who is away on international duties with the Fijian Rugby team in preparation for the forthcoming World Cup.”
A spokesperson for Marie Therese house said: “The Friends and staff at Marie Therese House are blown away at the total raised and would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who took part and contributed to such a fantastic day. After discussion with Sireli, some of the money raised will be used to replace two of our ceiling track hoists which have recently been condemned. The money raised will also allow us to fund an additional new ceiling track hoist which will benefit patients and staff. Any remaining monies will be used to purchase additional equipment in the future.”
Sereli was a rugby player being a Fijian Barbarian. His three sons Josh, Sam and Joel have followed in his footsteps: Josh is a Fijian international, and plays for the Ospreys in the RaboDirect Pro 12 League; Sam is also a Fijian international and having played for Plymouth Albion in the RFU Championship, he has for this season re-signed for Camborne and will assist with coaching at Veor; whilst Joel the youngest brother also plays for Ospreys. The other connection that they all have is they have represented Cornwall but also their beloved Camborne RFC.