A FORMER head boy who moved to the UK at the age of 11 to pursue his rugby talents has been officially adopted by the family who took him in.
Cameron Nordli Kelemeti, who has recently been selected for the England U18 rugby sevens team, was born in Fiji.
The 17-year-old was brought up from the age of six by his maternal grandparents after the death of his single mother.
Spotted by rugby union scouts while competing in Fiji’s U11 national rugby tournaments, Cameron was offered a place on the scholarship programme set up by former Terrington Hall head teacher Jon Glen and parent Charlie Charters, the aim of which was to give talented Fijian rugby players the opportunity of an education in England while pursuing their rugby careers.
While at Terrington, Cameron befriended Joe and Sam Nordli whose parents, Jane and Marty welcomed him into their family as one of their own, regularly having him to stay at weekends and in the holidays.
Jane said: “With the blessing of Cameron’s grandparents we became his guardians and then about 18 months ago, and again with their blessing, we decided to adopt him.
“It felt right as Cameron had become such a big part of our family, but it has been a very complicated process with five court hearings before the adoption was approved last week.
“It was an incredible and very emotional day and amazing to think that I now have three sons and Joe and Sam have another brother.”
Jane, who is hospitality manager at Castle Howard, said: “Now that the adoption process has been finalised, our first wish is to fly Cameron’s grandparents – whom we have never met - to England to show them the life that Cameron has made for himself and to share our delight at how far he has come.”
Cameron, who is now studying A-levels at Durham School, will now play for the England U18 rugby sevens team for the Youth Commonwealth Games, which are to be held in the Bahamas in July.
Last week he returned to Terrington Hall to present the school with the U18 rugby shirt in which he had scored his first try for England in April.
Cameron said: “Rugby was all I ever wanted to do. I played from the age of four. At school, we’d play at break times using a bottle of water as a rugby ball.
“My grandfather called a family meeting to discuss whether I should go to England when I was only 11.
“It was decided that a chance of an English education was too big an opportunity to miss.
“Jane and Marty are everything to me. They are the mother and father I never knew and have supported me all the way.
“I am grateful to so many people for giving me this future, but without the support of Terrington Hall and Jon Glen I would not be where I am today.
“The day I heard I had won a scholarship to a school in England was the day that changed my life.”