Fijian and World Rugby referee James Bolabiu has been awarded the Companion Member of the Order of Fiji (MF) medal from the Fijian President, Major-General Jioji Konrote.
The Member of the Order of Fiji medal is given to a person for meritorious service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group. He is pictured above with State Prosecutor, Ana Tuiketei who was similarly recognised.
Speaking to the Fiji Sun after the ceremony at the State House in Suva, Bolabiu said, “It is a wonderful day and another great moment in my career. I would like to thank the Lord Almighty for the great talent, my family and everybody who have supported me in my career.
“Special thanks to World Rugby referee manager Paddy O’Brien who is my inspiration and great leader. Also to Talemo Waqa whose been there for me and coaching me.”
Bolabiu has been refereeing for 12 years with a decade at international level and is the only Pacific Islander to referee in the Olympic Games. He is now coaching the next generation of referees across Fiji and the surrounding islands.