My name is Sainimili Naivalu. I’m a woman with disability. As a wheelchair user it’s not easy, growing up in a family being the only child to have a disability, they had to do everything for me. I’m the youngest in my family and I did not know how to take care of myself knowing that I have a ability to do things by my own. My mum and my dad are very protective in any activity that happens in school and other things like workshop. I grew up in many neighborhoods with a lot of children. After school me and my friends collected some empty tins to play a game. Those who shot the tins down would then run away and hide from the other team; for me, I used roller skates and it was really hard to catch me. Since my parents pass away I couldn’t accept that the rest of my life I will be on my own. I didn’t realize it will be tough. I had to go through it by myself. I knew very well that life is to move on.
As a woman born with disability I didn’t know that I could take part in sports or be involved in any type of sports. When I found out that I have ability to take part in sports, so I know being shy won’t take me anywhere. I try to go for the competition for special schools, went out there and got goose bumps looking at other people around me and have different type of disability it’s quite challenge for me.
The first time I took part in marathon it was held in Sigatoka it was 7km; the biggest challenge is I’m the only one female and I like to challenge with men so I came 2nd in the tournament.
The 2nd tournament it was held in Albert Park in Suva. There were a lot of people who came and took part that day. The amazing thing is there were only 2 persons with disability; one male and myself. A lot of people there are able body so that experience was a big achievement for myself to complete the half marathon.