Tena koutou katoa. My name is Paris Lokotui, I am 20 years old and am currently studying at Victoria University and playing professional netball for the Central Pulse.
I am a Stage Two Pinnacle student who enjoys life and loves to create life-long memories. I really enjoy diving, travelling overseas, learning about my cultures and spending lots of time with my friends and family. I have a real passion for sports but have an even bigger passion for giving back to communities that have helped me get to where I am today.
Sport has helped me find my why and allowed me to be the best version of myself by staying focussed, motivated and true to my values. Sport has also given me the drive to excel, train hard, manage my time well and it has allowed me to create some of the most amazing lifelong friendships with people who are equally as motivated to perform at the highest level possible.
Over the past couple of years, I have been able to achieve things that many people dream of doing:
In 2021, I received my first official netball contract with the Central Pulse. After completing my first year with the Central Pulse whilst training with the New Zealand U21 team at the time, I was named in the Silver Fern’s Development Squad which I was super grateful for. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the wider squad and travel with the Silver Fern’s team where we played in the Tania Jefferson trophy series against England as well as play the New Zealand Men’s netball team in the Cadbury series last year.
Coming off my second season this year with the Pulse, I managed to maintain a starting position at WD, got valuable court time and grew my game at an ANZ level. However, towards the back end of the season, I sustained my first major injury rupturing my left ACL against the Steel on May 9th. Since then I have been in recovery mode post-surgery, trying to get myself and my leg in the best shape it can be for the upcoming season in March 2023.
Academics still remain a priority to me as I am in my third year at Victoria University, studying a bachelor of commerce, minoring in Te Reo Maori. I love having the ability to do something outside of my hectic lifestyle so by completing this degree, I know it will only benefit me and my family post my sporting career.
I have several sporting and academic aspirations that are important but through my time spent at our Tongan church I've realised that the only things that are important in life are friends and family, being a person of good character, being kind and giving back.
Thank you again to the pinnacle programme for allowing me to complete stage one and for having me back to complete stage two.