Tupa will represent Pukapuka-Nassau at the Games which will be held from October 3 to 17.
He will represent the islands in netball.
“It is an honour to pay homage to my northern ancestry, especially, living in Rarotonga my whole life. Training alongside with the team is the perfect opportunity for me, and many others, to immerse ourselves in the Pukapukan culture and language,” Tupa said.
“I am enjoying every moment with the team and I am looking forward to represent Pukapuka with a golden heart.”
For Tupa, the spark for netball began when his mother returned from the Pacific Games, with a gold medal around her neck.
“I was probably five years old. I must admit that I love netball even more because my father and mother always supported me.”
Tupa first played competitive netball during a physical education (P.E) class in grade six.
“I remember jumping around and rebounding countless times. I’ve had years of netball experience and I loved every moment of it.
“Netball connects me to my home and it makes me feel good. It is a space where I get to develop and appreciate my abilities, and most importantly, my best self.”
Tupa is part of the 200-plus Pukapuka-Nassau team competing at the Games.
Kirianu Nio, the president of the Pukapuka community in Rarotonga, said: “Pukapuka/Nassau is progressing very well with more than 20 codes competing.
There are more than 200 participants and everyone are very excited. All teams are in training mode and team spirit is growing daily.”
Nio said they would also have services of five athletes from the islands – two from Pukapuka and three from Nassau.
“Our target for now is to make sure we have our new sets of uniforms. We are having a fundraiser (Quiz Nite) at the Golf Club on September 16. Pukapuka taro dish will be available, wawa patupatu, mawu, tulolo etc.”
Pukapuka-Nassau codes – Athletics, Rugby 7s, Rugby league 9s, Netball, Tennis, Table tennis, Badminton, Golf, Volleyball, Handball, Cricket, Soccer, Aquatics, Oe vaka, Sailing, Darts, Lawn bowl, Boxing, Weightlifting, Basketball, Touch rugby, Traditional sports