A key part of the ALL IN: OFC Women’s Football Strategy 2027 launched last year was to establish a Women’s Development Officer in every OFC Member Association. With that goal now achieved, we sit down to learn a little more about each of the women driving the growth of women’s football in our region.   

Former Cook Islands international player Tupou Patia-Brogan has been involved in football for most of her life. She’s officiated at a FIFA Women’s World Cup and is now coaching a local women’s team. Get to know more about her below.   

OFC: Tell us a little about yourself? 

TBP: My name is Tupou Patia-Brogan and I am the middle child of three sisters. I was born and raised on the main island, Rarotonga, and grew up in the village of Nikao with my mum and my siblings. I’m happily married to my husband Edward and we have two beautiful sons.   

What are some of the experiences you’ve had in football? 

I started playing football at the age of 10 at school and at my local club. I was selected in the first-ever Cook Islands national women’s team that travelled to Tahiti and I was the youngest player. I later decided to give refereeing a go and became an international FIFA referee in 2010 and was selected to officiate at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015. I am a qualified coach with my OFC C Licence.  

What’s the outlook for women’s football in the Cook Islands?   

We finally have my role in place, which means I can focus on women’s football development. The Cook Islands have come a long way in terms of providing career opportunities for women, there are more of us in leadership positions and we see more women involved in coaching roles across all grades including men’s senior teams now.  

What are you hoping to achieve in your role as WDO?  

I aim to increase the participation of girls and women playing football. I also want to encourage our girls to take on non-playing positions at their local football clubs or at association level.  

Why is women’s football development important to you?  

Football is my passion and as I was growing up my role models inspired me to be the best I could be in this field. I also believe that it is important for all women to have the same opportunities that are offered to men.