Wong making waves in France

Kiani Wong may only be 16 years old, but she's leading the charge for a women's football revival in Tahiti.


Kiani Wong with her former AS Tefana teammates.
Image: sportstahiti.com

Wong spent the past ten years developing her skills with AS Tefana, but six months ago embarked on the biggest challenge of her young life to date - a move to France to pursue her football career.

Joining the Strasbourg Elite Academy has seen the aspiring professional become the first Tahitian female to join an elite football academy.

And so far everything is going well for the youngster who is equally passionate about her studies as she is the round ball.

"For the moment everything is going well," she said.

"I've acclimatised to M├ętropole and I've made friends in Strasbourg. I spend the week in the dormitories, I go to school during the day and then I have my football training. In the evening I have two more hours of study."

At the weekend Wong spends her time with a host family, who have introduced her to the local cuisine.

"I've tasted some of the Strabourg food, like choucroute...I didn't really like it," she laughed.

In terms of the academy, she said it's nothing like what she has experienced in the past.

"It's pretty big," Wong said.

"I feel good here. There's about 20 girls, and the level is really high.

"It's different to Tahiti, not that the level doesn't exist in Tahiti. Here, it's just different and the girls play really well.

"Personally, I've developed in my role at number 10 on the field."

Balancing football and education can sometimes be difficult but Wong says she's managing well.

"I was a little scared in the beginning," she admitted.

"But it's actually been fine. I've managed to find a balance, and in terms of my schooling it's going well."

Moving to the other side of the world to pursue her dream shows a certain level of drive, and Wong said she's as motivated as ever to achieve her dreams.

"I'm as motivated now as I was at the beginning of this adventure," she said.

"I will do everything I can to succeed, and we will see how that goes."

For more on Tahiti football go to www.ftf.pf

Additional reporting: sportstahiti.com




Updated On Wednesday, December 21, 2016