BUKA, (POST COURIER) – Nicolette Ageva, who made history by scoring Papua New Guinea’s only goal in the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, was given an official welcome ceremony in Buka last Friday.
The ceremony attended by North Bougainville MP Lauta Atoi, Bougainville Football Federation president Justin Helele and officials, Bougainville community development representatives, friends and family members.
Ms Ageva, 18, said the greatest moment “I will never forget in my soccer career was when I scored the only goal in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup against Korea DPR”.
She said what came into her mind after losing two games was to give PNG and Bougainville something to be proud of, at least to score a goal and that was what she set out to do.
“One thing that pushed me to play harder was the presence of my parents and my little brother and sister,” Ms Ageva said.
She said individuals had assisted her to come this far. “I thank them, especially to my two colleagues Ms Rosewitha and Ms Lisa. Remember that you two are still members of the PNG national women’s team.
Mr Atoi in thanking Ms Ageva, said it was not easy being a sports personality because it went a long way with determination.
“The problem we have is that we are not giving support to our athletes and the Bougainville Government must develop plans that the National Members could adopt and the Autonomous Bougainville Government can legislate for.
“All sporting codes should push the government to legislate for development plan so that we see sports move forward,” Mr Atoi said.
He said laws must be enacted to govern and develop codes in sports and policy to protect our athletes so Bougainville can shine with champions.
Ms Ageva also thanked Bougainville Affairs Minister Joe Lera, Peter Tsiamalili Jr, Bougainville Soccer Federation, Community Development Department, Ernest Lessi of Evergreen Limited, Halia Ruko Rugby Union team, Justin Puso and her parents for their financial assistance.
Two Bougainville athletes who were also given the official treatment were boxers Thaddeus Katoa and Jaquelyne Wangi.