In the Santiago 2023 Spotlight: Maite Nahoe, the convictions of the first athlete in the rugby national team to come from Easter Island

She currently plays at Universidad Católica, the club who helped her develop as an athlete from zero, and is making history in the national ovoid sport. “I want to show Rapa Nui youth that if you set your mind to something, you can make it,” she said.

After being close to rugby since she was a child, Maite Hagarahi Nahoe Chaura (24) made a radical decision a year ago. She was on continental Chile when she realized that dedicating her life to this sport in a more formal way was more than a dream, it was a real option.

This is how she, along with other three female players, began making the necessary arrangements to be part of what is known today as Universidad Católica club, a team that competes in local leagues in Santiago and national tournaments of a female sport that’s in its early stages. 

Last year was the moment Maite Nahoe became one of the most important players and won the award for best player in tournaments such as Campeonato Mamut 2022 and Torneo Zona Centro 2023, which opened the doors wide open for her to be in a pre-list of the national team that has gathered ahead of the Pan American Games.

“The national team is currently assembled but I couldn’t be part of it due to injury. The Coaching team is constantly sending our way training plans so we can remain active. Not all players are gathered in the same zones, but these moments are useful to see their progress,” said Maite about her international experience.

Maite Nahoe with her partners of the Universidad Católica team. (Picture: Universidad Católica).


After coming aboard, Maite Nahoe became the first athlete from Easter Island to be part of a national team, a milestone that the athlete takes with pride, but also as a responsibility in front of her fellow islanders.

In this context, the athlete commented that “what motivates me the most is showing Rapa Nui youth that if you set your mind to something, you can make it. I told my family that I’d go to the continent and that I’d reach the national team, and I’m already on my way to do so. That motivates me to continue to push forward.”

A year after the beginning of her adventure, Maite Nahoe believes that female rugby is growing and she says that “more players have been showing up. Now we’re almost 20 at UC, with an A team and a development team. Because I’ve just begun my process with the national team, I’m not sure if this growth has to do with that.”

Lastly, the athlete remembered how hard her first six months were adapting not only to a new life, but also to a new type of weather. “At the beginning, it was very difficult. San Carlos de Apoquindo is way colder than the island, but these are the types of challenges that helped strengthen my spirit along with perseverance and all values from rugby,” she said at the end.

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