Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tia Palauni PWS Interview

University of Utah
Taylorsville, UT

"I know that what I do and how I act is a reflection of my culture and I hope I am doing a good job."

Tia Palauni did not have to go very far from her hometown of Taylorsville, Utah and accept to compete at the University of Utah. The senior graduates in the fall of 2012 with a sociology degree, in which she hopes to do something in the social work field. Palauni has been a standout athlete on the Ute roster the past few years and has many athletic achievements to add to her resume. Palauni is the daughter of Cristina and Sione Palauni.

Q: How has being a Salt Lake local helped you to be recruited to the University of Utah? It helped in the fact that going on an unofficial visit didn't cost my mom too much money. My coach was able to come and out and see my games at state.
Q: Do you feel Polynesians are at an advantage in softball? When it comes to power and size, yes, I do believe that we are at an advantage. However, softball isn't a sport many Polynesians play, so support in the sports may be lacking.
Q: What defines a Polynesian athlete? A person who is committed to giving his or her all for the better of the team. The team becomes a family to any Polynesian athlete.
Q: How proud are you to be a Polynesian athlete? My pride in being a Polynesian athlete can't be put into words. I know that what I do and how I act is a reflection of my culture and I hope I am doing a good job.

Q: How did you decide the U was the best place for you? I had prayed and fasted before deciding the U was the best place. It felt right, so I decided to follow the feeling and it was a great decision.
Q: Does it help being a local and having your family and friends at games? It's great being a local and having family and friends come out to games. It's hard to describe the feeling of looking up into the stands and seeing faces of family members.
Q: What has been the highlight of your softball career? The highlight of my career had to be hitting the walk off home run against ASU last year.
Q: How different would your life be without softball? I know that I probably wouldn't be getting a good college education if it weren't for softball. Without softball I wouldn't have been able to meet the people I've met or gone to the places I've been.
Q: How will softball prepare you for the rest of your life? Softball has brought so many good things and good people into my life. Softball is a game of failure. I've learned from it to keep working and that even though I may fail 7 out of 10 times, that I still matter and I'm still making a difference.
Q: What is the hardest thing to balance in being a student and an athlete? The hardest thing to balance is of course just managing time. You're constantly doing something whether it be practice, class, weights, meetings, etc. You are always busy. It's hard to keep in mind that school comes before my play.
Q: What will your college degree mean? My college degree will mean everything to me. I'll be the first in my family to have one, so it's a big deal. It will mean that I'm showing my further family how important a college education is. It means so much.

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