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Realising potential .. Oamaru physiotherapist Philippa Masoe. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Oamaru physiotherapist Philippa Masoe lives a busy life. As well as running her own business from home and raising a family, she works with the North Otago Heartland Championship rugby team. Oamaru Mailreporter Daniel Birchfield sits down with her for a chat.

Q: So, Philippa, why did you want to become a physiotherapist?
I guess because I played lots of sport when I was younger, and I had a lot of injuries and spent a lot of time on the physio table. I enjoy helping people. I decided I wanted to be a physio early, so I went to university and worked hard.

Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I guess I enjoy the interaction with athletes. Young athletes have so much potential, and being able to have such a positive influence on them is really nice. It’s the same with rugby. When you see people with talent, you want them to achieve and help them achieve their goals, which is pretty cool.

Q: How long have you been team physio for the Heartland Championship side?
This is my 10th year.

Q: You’ve also recently been named as the Heartland XV physio for this year. How did that opportunity come about?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and this was the first time I’d seen the job advertised, so I applied and got it, which was nice.

Q: What are you looking forward to about that role?
I guess being in a more professional environment. I really like that professional environment and having more pressure to get players ready for what is a quick turnaround, which is cool.

Q: Is it difficult to juggle your career with family life?
It is. I think, for any working mother, it’s a difficult job, and I guess you’re trying to get that balance right. I really enjoy my job so I want to keep doing it and you need to have the support of people around you.

Q: What are your goals, career-wise?
I guess being the Heartland physio would have been one of them. I wanted to get a massage degree, which I’ve got, too. I love being up-to-date with research, so I guess I’d like to do some more study. I’d like to do more national team work, but we’ll see how that goes. I’d like to work in Samoa, where my husband Lemi Masoe’s family is from, for the rugby union over there.

Q: Lemi is a North Otago rugby legend. Did you meet him through the sport?
Yes, he was living in Christchurch and he came down to play a game and we met through rugby – which is probably not ideal when you’re a physio, but these things happen.