Bright future for sporting brother and sister Masi and Tia Pavihi

Multi-talented sports all-rounders brother and sister Tomasi and Tia Pavihi have both been identified in Basketball and Touch Rugby age group teams in New Zealand.

Masi is year 11 at St Pat’s Silverstream and Tia is year 10 at Queen Margaret College and last year both traveled overseas with New Zealand age-grade basketball teams.

The pair have just recently been selected in Touch New Zealand’s U16 Talent ID respective boys and girls squads.

Both are also involved in other sports, with Tia winning QMC’s Middle School Sports Cup for all round Excellence in Sport last year.

With all sport paused at the moment, we  caught up with the Lower Hutt-raised siblings to ask them a few questions on their sports careers to date.

College Sport Wellington: Congratulations on your recent selections for the upcoming U16 Touch Talent ID Camp. Tell us in a line or two your reaction about being selected for this squad?

Tia: It was a big surprise for me, personally it was an experience thing for me going to Nationals this year as I was only 13 years old  at the time of selection so playing up a grade and it being my first Touch Nationals I was so excited to be selected as Touch is one of my favourite sports I play.

Masi: I was pretty shocked! I play the game to be with my mates and build those experiences and had no aspirations to make these squads and camps. The selectors must have seen something in me to be selected so I’m really happy. I just enjoy playing Touch for fun.

CSW: You were both playing at the recent Touch Nationals, with the Wellington U16s – what was a highlight there?

Tia: Being at Nationals amongst the best Touch players in NZ was a highlight for me. I love that challenge playing older girls. I have 2 more years in the U16 grade so hopefully look forward to more National competitions in the future

Masi: It was a great experience competing against the best teams around the country and just soaking up everything I could and trying to learn as much as possible, A highlight for me was the live stream of our game. Boys were all pumped to be on TV.  Also catching up with my basketball friends from other provinces.

CSW: Do you also play Touch for your school?

Tia: I played school touch for Queen Margaret College for both our Senior and Junior Teams. Touch isn’t quite developed at QMC yet so it has all been about trying to help and develop girls at my school to give it a go and encourage them to continue playing.

Masi: I just play Social Touch at school for the last two years for Juniors with my Boarding House mates. This year I’m jamming with our Senior B team with some members of my Wellington team.

CSW: What representative basketball teams have you played in?

Tia: I was selected in BBNZ NZU14 Talent ID Camp. This year I had been selected for NZBA U13s (NZ Basketball Academy). I also went away to Melbourne for the NZ HoopNation U16 Select Team where we played at the Eltham Dandenong Junior tournament (regarded as one of the biggest Junior basketball tournaments in the world). Our Team made the final. I was also a member of the Wellington U15 Basketball Team last year.

Masi: I was selected for the U14 NZBA Team in 2019 we did really well winning a tournament in Las Vegas. This year I’m selected for the U15 NZBA Team but our family made the call not to travel due to the Covid-19 threat.

CSW: We are all hoping everyone can get back on court soon in 2020, but tell us about your school basketball in 2019?

Tia: Last year I played for the QMC Senior A basketball team we did pretty well for such a young team and this was my first year at College as a Year 9. We came second in the CSW competition, second at regionals and fifth at Nationals. It was a great experience for me being so young.

Masi: I played in the St Pat’s Sliverstream Junior A Basketball team last year –  winning the Junior A Wellington CSW Competition and having an undefeated season.

CSW: What other sports have your played, and what achievements in these sports have you had?

Tia: For school last year I played in the Senior A Basketball team, the Senior A, B and Junior A Netball teams, the Senior A & Junior A Volleyball team, Senior A and Junior A Touch teams and was the Junior School Athletics Champion. My personal highlight in sport last year was winning the CSW Junior Netball tournament because we made history for our school first time ever and beating a strong sports school like St Mary’s in the final.

Masi: Last year I played Junior A Volleyball and went to the North Island Secondary Schools  I also have competed in the McEvedy School Athletics Competition for St Pats Silverstream.

CSW: How hard is it to juggle multiple sports and have you had to make choices between what sports to play?

Tia: Sometimes it gets hard, I’ve had to make choices before but those are all my choices. It’s great having supportive parents who just support me in whatever I choose. Obviously lots of things clash but I’ve been lucky to have such great coaches and managers along with my sports teacher Ms Stembridge who supports me. When I started college it has been getting harder but it’s all about being organised with planning, a positive mindset and working hard and having supportive family and friends.

Masi: When I went to college I decided to stop playing rugby and focus on playing basketball and really work on my game. So that was an easy choice –  for me unlike my sister (laughs)!

CSW: Please give us a snapshot of your sports playing and training routine in a typical week (and notwithstanding the current situation with the Covid-19 virus).

Tia: Pretty much either training or playing game 7 days a week for me as Athletics meets is on Sundays so usually no set days off, but it’s worth it as I love sport being big part of my life.

Masi: At the moment I have been training early mornings and nights for Basketball around 4 – 5 times a week. Usually, I get one or a couple days off. It’s important sometimes have a break and catch up with friends and do other things.

CSW: Do you have an early memory of playing sport or being around sport?

Both together:  Our whole family is involved with the sports either still playing or coaching. Ever since we were little we remember always being outdoors and running around. Our dad would take us up the firebreaks for runs. From a young age he was big on us being active and fit, being skillful and mentally tough.

Tell us a bit about the support you have from your parents and family?

Both together: Our Mum and dad are pretty much our Uber drivers (laughs). Our parents are the most hardworking people ever. Whatever we need is always catered for and we never go without. Mum and Dad along with our extended family uncles/aunties/cousins support us with everything we do and always encourage us to have fun.

CSW: To finish, what are your favourite and least favourite subjects at school?

Tia: My favourite subject is Drama and Humanities and least favourite is Science.

Masi: My favourite subject at school at the moment is Maths and my least favourite subject is Science.


-Story courtesy of College Sport Media