There will be no rest for a 25 year old final year nursing student when she takes her holiday break from studies next month in July.
Taikerise Faasi’i will be huffing and puffing on court, as a member of Team Samoa’s women volleyball team at the Pacific Games here in Apia, scheduled for two weeks.
The road she is taking is a tight one with a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing she wants to complete this year and representing Samoa in volleyball.
Faasi’i is one four local players selected into the squad and she confided in Newsline Samoa the challenge she is going through.
“ For me, being part of the team has been a real struggle because this is my final year as a nursing student,” she said.
“But I have managed to balance out my studies and training so far and the study break will make it possible for me to focus on playing well for our team.”
Faasi’i is from Lalomanu and credits her love of the sport to her mother, a very talented volleyball player in her prime.
She counts being part of the team a blessing and is ready to go the extra mile to contribute in the quest to win for Samoa.
“I am grateful for the scheduling of this Pacific Games event and I will do my best to contribute to the team success.
This is the first time she has the chance to play for Samoa, after being forced to miss out on tournaments in New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea due to exams and practical studies.
This time around, she is grateful that her team still wants her to be part of the Pacific Games and to finally live her dream.
“I almost gave up my dream because I worried about my studies but our association president is a very understanding woman.
“She encouraged me to prioritize my studies and come to training when I can. When I missed out on those two volleyball tournaments in New Caledonia and Papua, I really thought that was the end of my career.”
Selection into the team is a humbling experience and had vowed to give everything she has to the team.
“We don’t want to let our country down we have no excuse for not getting that gold medal we are aiming for.
The few remaining weeks are crucial in our preparations, we have to tie up loose ends and give it our best on the field when the time comes.”