Love runs deep | Covert follows volleyball dream

Harvey Oswald Covert. Picture: SUPPLIED

Harvey Oswald Covert’s love for volleyball runs so deep that even being shunned by national selectors, failed to dampen his spirit.

The Namaka, Nadi resident is 22 years old and has been actively engaged in the sport since he was 10.

Even though the powers that he has, have not given him the nod to don the national colours, the Nadi Team 2 player is convinced that his day will soon come.

Covert grew up watching his uncle and former Fiji rep Peceli Ligalevu do his thing on a small court at Chadwick in Nakasi.

The way his uncle moved and spun around the court struck a chord and his interest and passion grew to the point he never missed a single day playing with a volleyball. Covert has always been a “western kid”.

He attended primary school at Namaka Public before moving to high school at Swami Vivekananda College. Covert later moved to Suva when his parents got a job transfer — so he spent his last two high school years at Marist Brothers High School.

When he was 16 years old, he visited an uncle who had migrated to Australia and was lucky enough to play two tournaments with him there. His first tournament was in Melbourne where he played for a team called “Bula”.

It was made up mostly of Fijians who lived in Australia, so it was easy to get along with everyone.

They managed to reach the final but lost to a very good Australian state team.

The second tournament was at Werribee where Bula managed to beat all the teams in their pool and once again reached the final.

When he returned to Fiji, Covert joined the Nakasi volleyball team and it was a tour de force.

They were literally unstoppable, winning in Nausori and Suva tournaments. In 2020 he returned to Nadi, got married and had his first child.

He started work and joined the Nadi Team 2.

Despite his family commitments, Covert’s passion never waned.

He played in club championships in the Western Rally in Lautoka and also during trials at the Easter Games competition.

He continued playing because he was trying his best to catch the eye of national selectors. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.

“My love for this sport is unimaginable, it’s also a rehab situation for me.

“When I’m stressed from school or fights I get into, hard circumstances in life, it just takes one afternoon of volleyball for all that stress to go away,” he said.

“I’m still playing volleyball for the Nadi team, hoping to try my extra best and make it to the national side next time.”

While other players in his situation would have considered giving up, Covert looks on the bright side of his volleyball journey.

“I acknowledge the almighty for how far I have come and for allowing me to enjoy volleyball all this time.”

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