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Teams Receive ‘Kia Orana’ Welcome

The ceremony was attended by participating teams from New Caledonia, Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, referees from across the oceanic region and along with CIFA President Lee Harmon, Cook Islands Minister of Youth and Sports Hon. Albert Nicholas and CISNOC President Hugh Graham.
“The Cook Islands Football Association is excited that the region’s best up-and-coming talent have come together on our shores,” Harmon opened. “I am certain we are set for an exciting and entertaining few weeks of football action.
He went on to say, “Women’s football is a fast growing sport around the globe. In the last ten years FIFA has invested a lot of resources into women’s football and today around 30 million women play football.”
The importance of the event towards the development of young women respectively, was noted by Hon. Nicholas.
“On behalf of the government and the people of the Cook Islands I would like to say thank you to all our families, our sisters and our cousins from around the region.
“It’s always been my great belief that sport is an avenue to get away from some of that ‘naughty stuff’ and add some structure to their lives.
“I think this event is a perfect opportunity for our youth to see what is available out there in the sports arena.”
From there Nicholas officially opened the 2016 OFC U-17 Women’s Championships.
The championships will kick off tomorrow afternoon Wednesday 13 January with New Caledonia opening the tournament against Tonga at 2:30pm, followed by New Zealand and Samoa at 5:00pm.

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