Grace Kukutai is a local girl through and through. She has lived in Blockhouse Bay in the same house that her mother grew up in. Grace went to the same schools that her mother attended – Chaucer Primary, Blockhouse Bay Intermediate and Lynfield College. Now she has a local business Kukutai Lawn Mowing Services with her partner, North Harbour rugby winger Tomas Aoake.
Grace started playing Netball at five years old and had a promising career ahead of her before deciding to switch to rugby sevens. She says “My heart is with sevens. I think that it is such an exciting game, but there’s no sevens going on at the moment, so fifteens has been really awesome because it’s a lot more contact and you still have the same sort of skill set.”
Now recently back at home from Japan, Grace is full on in rugby training as well as studying for her Bachelor of Arts majoring in criminology, with a minor in Māori development.
In May this year, while in lockdown in Japan, Grace gave an in-depth interview to LockerRoom writer Ashley Stanley where she opened up about some of the struggles that she has faced and how her outlook is now more positive.
Read the full story here.