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2021-22 Meg Votta Memorial Scholarship Recipient: Kalisi Po’oi

February 22, 2022

Kalisi Po’oi

“Playing rugby has taught me to adapt to the situations, rather than me expecting situations to always be in my favor. That is, I don’t have to wait for the opportunity, instead, I must go forth and look for opportunities to grasp,” said Kalisi Po’oi. Her passion for rugby was influenced by the mental obstacles and feelings of chaos the game can present. Amidst what is going on around the field, Po’oi finds solace in the critical thinking required to be a great player and teammate. The lessons she has learned from rugby have shaped how she carries herself in everything she does.

Kalisi began playing rugby during her sophomore year of high school for the Kahuku High School Girls Rugby team. Her athleticism and natural knack for the game earned her selection to the team’s travel side that competed with other programs from the outer islands and the mainland. During her senior year, she served as the forwards team captain and played in both 7s and 15s matches. “As an athlete, Kalisi is focused and determined. She has a sense of friendliness and fair play, often treating people courteously in both positive and negative situations. Kalisi’s healthy perspective and cheerful demeanor have made her a great asset to the team,” said Nusi Tukuafu, Kahuku Rugby Head Coach.

A Hawaii native, Po’oi graduated from Kahuku High School on the island of Oahu. When Kalisi wasn’t playing rugby, she was working hard in the classroom and highly involved with her church and family. She was both a member and served as the president of Kahuku High School’s Health Occupations Student of America club and volunteered countless hours assisting in blood drives, mask drives, and educating the community on the need to care for Hawaii’s Kupuna (elders). Kalisi was also a distinguished vocalist performing in the top high school vocal ensemble, “Vocal Motion”.

Kalisi’s talents have earned her the opportunity to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, where she will play for the Antelopes. She will major in nursing with intentions of obtaining registered nurse licensure upon graduation. Her ultimate career goal is to become a doctor. She plans on using her nursing degree as a stepping-stone for medical school and is looking forward to a career that serves her passion to assist and improve the quality of life for others. Her goals on the pitch include to advance physically, emotionally, and mentally to help her team succeed in all aspects. She hopes that by representing GCU to the best of her abilities she will not only win, but more importantly win with her team.

“She is an incredible athlete and many of the girls look up to her on the team and she constantly makes an effort to reach out to all her teammates and include them on and off the field. Kalisi is punctual at all training sessions and does a good job of holding the team accountable, even the upper classmen. She is able to balance the taxing rugby schedule with her schooling and has done a great job at finding balance. She also attends a weekly leadership development class and has done a really great job applying herself there. We are honored to have Kalisi on this team. She is a strong asset both on and off the field,” said Lindsey Mahoney, Grand Canyon University Women’s Rugby Head Coach.