Photo Credit: Nicolea Mateariki

Nicolea Mateariki from Ma’uke has spent the past four years as one of the only sports reporters in Rarotonga and at the tender age of 18, she is the youngest participant of the Women in Media programme for 2023.  

After completing four weeks of online commentary training, Mateariki was lucky enough to be selected among 12 participants from the Pacific to continue in a two- week in-person, capacity building workshop at ABC International Development in Brisbane, Australia.

The Women in Media Programme has been developed and delivered in partnership with Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and ABC International Development and is supported by FIFA and Team Up to promote opportunities for women in football, across all areas of the game.  

READ MORE: Female voices are leading the way in sports media | Oceania Football Confederation

Despite having no previous commentary experience, through the programme, Mateariki was given the chance to commentate at the group stages of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Having come from a sporting background, the opportunity of a lifetime has been a true highlight for the 18 year old.

“I was actually so excited to commentate the Australia vs Nigeria game because I actually called  three goals, two by Nigeria and one by Australia, and I was so grateful. During my practices, I have never commentated on a goal. So that was so new to me.” said Mateariki.

“Back at home my family are, very sporty. And we do play a lot of football back at home. So even my siblings are so shocked that I’m here. Because we’re used to just watching it from a TV we’re not used to actually being there.”

Photo Credit: Nicolea Mateariki

Mateariki hopes to take her learnings, knowledge and skills gained from the Women In Media programme to help her to become the first female commentator in the Cook Islands. Her advantage, is her own football journey, having played the game her whole life.

Representing Nikao Sokattack FC Under 8’s, leading the Under 14’s to victory four years in a row, Nicolea Matariki is now playing for the women’s team as holding midfielder. The 18 year old’s extensive experience in the game has helped her in her media career as a sports reporter, with her passion, determination and scooter, she covers up to 7 sports a day.

“ I get around on my scooter. And if I don’t get around on my scooter, I don’t mind walking because everything back at home is so close to each other.”

“ I can cover many sports. In one day with my busy schedule, I try to fit everybody in. The majority of the sports I actually play, so I go to my training, and then I get an interview. And when I’m done at the training, I go to my next training and I get them interviews. Well, sometimes I have to cut my training short because of my job.” Mateariki explained.

Nicolea Mateariki, loves every minute of her role as a young woman in sports media, her hard work and dedication is truly inspiring and is paving a pathway for young women entering the space.

“I enjoy my job and I enjoy meeting new people and just interviewing people about sports in general, because I love sports”.