All going well, Tia Pavihi could become a triple international by the middle of this year.
Over the past week, the multi-talented Queen Margaret College sports all-rounder has been selected in both the Junior Tall Ferns Basketball and New Zealand Secondary School Netball wider squads.
With upcoming trials for both teams coming up, making both the pinnacle school teams in both major sports would be a unique achievement and one she is working hard on hoping to achieve.
She is set to attend the Basketball New Zealand National U17 camp in Auckland from 13-16 April, as the only Wellington or Hutt Valley Basketball Association player in the 24-strong squad.
She then switches codes and joins the NZSS Netball squad across town for their three-day camp from 16-18 April.
If selected in both teams, she will have two overseas trips coming up. “The basketball team plays at the FIBA U17 Oceania Championships in Papua New Guinea in October and the Netball team travels to Australia at the end of June, so it would be an exciting few months if selected for both,” Tia said.
“My three main sports growing up were touch, netball and basketball. I have already made a New Zealand team for both touch and basketball so it has been a goal of mine to make it for all three.”
Last year Tia wore black for the New Zealand U16 touch side and at the end of the year she competed for New Zealand U17 3 x 3 basketball team at the Asia Cup in Malaysia.
Tia will have company from Wellington at the netball camp, with Zara Feaunati (Scots College)
Caitlin Lafaele (St Mary’s College), Baylee Meroiti (Tawa College), Tapini Raea (Wellington Girls’ College) and Phoenix Schwalger (St Mary’s College) also involved.
First, Tia and QMC head to Auckland this week to compete in the 3×3 Secondary Schools Nationals, with QMC defending champions.
QMC also won the College Sport Wellington Girls Basketball title last year, but Tia said this year the squad is in “rebuilding mode” with most of last year’s players having left school including CSW Supreme Sports winner Lily Taulelei.
“We have pretty much had to re-build a whole new basketball team this year, we have got a lot of girls who haven’t played before – in fact there are just two or three of us who have played basketball previously and the rest are all new and learning this year.”
“Charlotte Horner and I will be the only year 13s in this year’s basketball team, but Charlotte is also fairly new to basketball. A lot of this year will be about helping other players come through so QMC can continue to be strong in the future.”
Tia is joined this week at the National Schools 3 x 3 tournament by two year 11s players and one year 9.
QMC were runners-up to multiple champions St Mary’s in the CSW Regional Netball final last year and fourth at the Lower North Island tournament that followed.
The youth theme this year runs through the school’s Senior A netball team as well. “Our netball squad got announced last week and I am the only year 13 in the team.”
“This year will be my fifth year in the basketball team, and I have been in the netball side since year 10 on a regular basis.”
Both competitions start in term 2 and are in full swing through May, June and July and Tia plays as a guard in basketball and centre/midcourter in netball.
As well as all this, there will be plenty of representative netball and basketball in Wellington colours in 2023 as well.
Last year she Co-Captained the Wellington U17 Basketball Team who were Runners Up at U17 Basketball Nationals and she was also named in the Nationals Tournament Team. She Captained the Wellington U16 Black Netball Team who were Runners up at the North Island Junior Netball Championship and she was named Rep U16 Black Team Player of the Year.
Tia is also head prefect of Queen Margaret College, so has a lot on her plate notwithstanding her sports commitments.
So, the obvious question is how is she juggling it all?
Firstly, she didn’t play touch this summer, along with other sports played in the past such as cricket and athletics.
“I have a lot of support at home, from my parents and family, and the school is very supportive of everything I do. It is kind of what I make of it, the more I do for the school the bigger it is, whereas if I sat back and took a different approach I would be a lot more chilled.”
Tia is unsure what she will be doing next year when she leaves school, wanting to keep her options open.
Her brother Tomasi was captain of the St Pat’s Silverstream team last year that won the Senior Boys CSW Premier basketball ttife for the first time with an undefeated season. Tomasi left for the USA last year to study and play Basketball in Maryland Washington DC.
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