Yvonne Gabong began playing football as a nine-year-old in Madang.

Showing such immense promise at a young age, she was included in the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers in 2014 when she was just 16.

By then, she already had two U-17 and one U-20 qualifying campaigns under her belt, with her youth debut coming as a 14-year-old against New Zealand at the OFC U-17 Championship in 2010.

She became the face of a nation in 2016 when she led a valiant Papua New Guinea at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, hosted on home soil.

In the lead up to, and during, that event, Gabong was centre stage of the UN Women campaign #SANAPWANTAIM: the New Normal.

“Women’s equality is something we feel extremely passionately about. There is a new normal growing in our country: one where women will be safe to walk by themselves and live their dreams.”

Gabong has always led by example, showcasing through her tertiary studies in Information Technology, the importance of an education alongside sporting achievements.

Now based in Port Moresby, Gabong is captain of FC Genesis, which finished top of the Southern League in the 2020/21 National Women’s Soccer League.

Some people think football is for males only, it’s been hard, sometimes I feel like giving up but my mother is always there to encourage and push me to achieve my soccer dreams.