When Leslie was nine his father died, leaving the young family of six children with no bread winner. Despite having seven children of her own, Leslie’s aunt was able to help and Leslie and his siblings remained in education.
At secondary school, Leslie took up javelin and proved to be a natural. He set new records in every category at school and by age 17, he was a national champion. He then won a scholarship to the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Vanuatu.
Near the end of 2007, the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) offered him the chance to train for nine months in Brisbane, Australia. But while Leslie was able to train, he still needed considerable financial support from home. When he returned to Fiji, he was determined he should have a steady job to fall back in the future so he could look after himself and his extended family. Last year, he enrolled on a civil engineering course.
But Leslie is still totally determined to rise to the very top of his sport and both eyes are focused on reaching the 2012 Olympics in London, where he intends to become the first Fijian to bring home a medal.
“There were times in the past where I had lost all hope,” says Leslie. “But I am looking forward to achieving my academic goals and if possible one day in the near future, my dream of being a top athlete.”