“My dad was a bus driver when I was growing up, and in the school holidays I would often ride the bus, observing different scenes and people. I would attempt to make sense of why things happen and what was seen as normal to different communities.
I played football both in New Zealand and overseas, and noticed that in the Pacific Islands, playing football was very normal for everyone. In contrast, here in New Zealand, it was much more unusual to see Islanders and Maori playing football.
Returning from overseas to live in my community I wanted to give back. I looked around me and saw a huge amount of untapped potential in our Pasifika and Maori youth.
This inspired me to change things here in my community and help revive my childhood football club. Currently our top team has seventeen players with fourteen different nationalities presented. Our dream is to develop a South Pacific Football Hub, based here in Mangere with real and accessible pathways for a new generation of football stars.”