In 2006, Kiani Wong joined the Alsace youth academy in Strasbourg.

That meant leaving Pape’ete, her family and friends behind and travelling almost 16,000km to follow her football dream.

For the then 16-year-old, the move marked the beginning of a journey which has seen her not only participating in a camp alongside 80 of France’s best budding footballers at the national academy, Clarefontaine, but has also seen her transition into professional football across France, England, Wales and now Germany, with FC Saarbrücken in the Frauen Bundesliga 2.

The midfielder is a proven hit in Tahiti not only for becoming one of the nation’s first women to go professional, but also for her desire to give back to the local community.

Wong has been an ambassador for the Hine Festival since its inaugural edition in 2018, attending events whenever she is back in French Polynesia, and more recently joining the U-19 women’s team during a visit to spread the word on women’s football in Raiatea.

Wong continues to be an inspiration for young girls just like her both at home and abroad, and hopes to add plenty more appearances to the seven she already has with the Tahiti women’s national team.

You have to keep working, you must not give up, you must always follow your dreams, and I am sure you will all succeed.