A SPORTS ambassador finally met his biological father, a Fijian SAS veteran during a trip which took him around the world to help disadvantaged children.

Danny Ligairi grew up in Callow End after being adopted by a couple but has now finally met his father, Ilisoni Ligairi, an SAS veteran.

Mr Ligairi said: “For years I have known about him but never met him. It was an emotional, intense embrace. All my emotional barriers came down.

"Every boy wants to grow up to be a hero, I was the kid running around with toy guns, zip wiring down walls, never realising my dad did it for a job. Finally meeting him just broke me to be honest.”

“In Fiji it’s all about hierarchy, so the oldest brother turns up out of nowhere, there are all these questions over who gets this and who becomes chief that come up. But all I wanted was acceptance.”

Mr Ligairi told the Worcester News: “It was something my English parents would have supported me in. I went to see my parents' grave before I flew out to have a chat with them. They brought me up with these opportunities.”

Last year Mr Ligairi also travelled to the slums of South Africa during the filming of a documentary that saw him deliver sports equipment to children in poverty stricken areas across the world. Mr Ligairi also met children in Figi and Kenya for the Bare Foot Project which aims to allow young sportsmen to have every opportunity to participate in activities in a safe and healthy environment. The young people received second hand footwear, kit and equipment from clubs, teams and individuals.

During the process, Mr Ligairi worked in the murder capital of South Africa, Nyanga. “Nobody else goes there” he said. “We encountered shootings, poverty, stuff you don’t hear about. These kids have got nothing” he said.

“We also met Kenyan children from the slums and took them to Luxembourg where they went to school for three months.”

Many of the young people Mr Ligairi worked with were from areas struggling with gangs and drug related issues. While they were working in Nyanga, Mr Ligairi and his crew were instructed to leave the area and be off the roads by 6pm for their own safety, but ended up staying out meeting the community until 9pm.

Mr Ligairi said: “We were invited to a Shebeen, it was in somebody’s house, this concrete building with this gate where they serve all the beer. We were having a cup of tea in there with the gangs, we were welcome in there. It was sort of my Ross Kemp moment.”

Steffon Armitage former England and Toulon European rugby player and Ben Foden former England player are among the sportsmen supporting the Bare Foot Project.

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