BY ESTHER NURIA
LYSHA Poula Mauriasi is a passionate female netballer currently preparing herself for July’s Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.
For a young girl from Temotu and Makira to have made her Pacific Games debut as a 21-year-old is a dream come true. But to do it as a selected member of the Solomon Island national women’s netball squad and to represent your family, province and country makes it the sort of a netball fairy tale a Solomon Islander can dream about.
With less than 15 days to go until the most anticipated regional sporting event hits the shores of Samoa from July 7-20 this year, Raw Sports Reporter, Esther Nuria spoke with Mauriasi about her preparation.
- Tell us more about your background?
I am a Bachelor in Arts student at the University of the South Pacific campus in Honiara, unfortunately, this semester I couldn’t managed to register due to the passing away of my late brother Sebastian Steward Mauriasi known as sleazy (former ZFM presenter and TTV crew). But now, I am planning to start off with my studies next semester.
- When did you start playing netball and who motivated you to that sport?
I started playing netball when I was very young; let’s say at the primary level of my education. My mother is also a netball player and she encouraged me to play netball. And also, I played at the various organized netball league competitions for high school students in the country.
- How did you manage to be selected into the squad?
After the passing away of my late brother, I have nothing to do because I was late to register at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Honiara, Campus. Therefore, I stayed back at home doing nothing; and I was like hey! Why should I be bothered staying and doing nothing I should do something.
My friends told me about the preliminary selection and preparation of the national netball squad towards the 2019 Mini Pacific Games in Samoa. And I though that could be an opportunity to be part of the squad, later I joined the team with their scheduled trainings and at the end; I was so fortunate to be selected into the squad.
And also another reason I joined the netball team at the preliminary stages was to rehabilitate my mind. And somehow it really helped a lot and it helped me to stay focus at what I am doing. I believed that with my commitment and energy towards my scheduled netball training sessions, I was so fortunate to be selected in the final squad for the Pacific Games.
I am very grateful and humbled to be part of the Solomon Islands national netball squad for this year’ Pacific Games in Samoa.
- Who is your role model in sports?
Am very passionate to see achievements of top netballers in the world. For instance, I put this mentality like if they can do it, why not me? If I can throw a ball that far and I can be that player, so yes! I would say my role model in sport is other women athlete in netball. Where I admire their skills and look up to them and trained myself to be like them. Like the older netball players – if they can do it, why not us (young players)? We can also do it.
- What are the challenges you faced as a young netball player?
I have many social challenges as a sport person; and one of my greatest challenges’ was trying to stay fit and healthy. For example as a sport person, you must certain limitation to your social lifestyle, for example – eat on proper diet, quit smoking and alcohol.
And with discipline it helps me to stay focus, and I am really grateful for it because it kept me out of trouble and at the same time, I have achieved something and my family are proud of what I am doing and they have given their trust and faith in me.
- How do you find playing along with your teammates?
Yes, playing along with my teammates is very tough and quite a challenge because we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, but with teamwork and strong determination, I believe it is more important and I value that.
- Any words of encouragement for the energetic youths in Solomon Islands, who wish to take up netball?
I want to encourage young girls, who stay back at home doing nothing to come forward and associate yourself to any sporting activities whether it’s netball, soccer or volleyball etc. Because through sports, we not only be disciplined but it will help us to stay fit and healthy.
I want to call upon young girls to come and search for what talent you have in whatever sports because at the end of the day, out of our blood and sweat you will achieved something for yourselves and for the country as a whole. Or you’ll be a role model for the young ones, you’ll never know.
- How supportive is your family?
Am thankful to be raised from a struggling and discipline family. I have tried my best to come out and to do my daily scheduled trainings.
After the passing of my brother, my parent went back to our rural village in Makira.
Now I am living with my two elder brothers in Honiara. And both of them are married and they too have their own families to support. Yes, it’s really tough for my family to support me but at the end of the day, I am so grateful and thankful to my family because even though it’s tough we managed to come that far.