Chasing an opportunity to excel in the beautiful game and education, Cook Islands U-20 player Conroy Tiputoa is excited to represent his country in the inaugural OFC Education Centre in New Zealand.
Tiputoa left for Auckland on Wednesday after representing the Cook Islands at the OFC U-20 Championship in Vanuatu, and he is now looking forward to joining the six other student-athletes and pursuing this new chapter in both football and education.
“I am really excited for this opportunity and I am looking forward to both training and learning new things in my new school,” he said.
“I hope to become a better football player and also balance that with my academic studies,” he added.
The OFC Education Centre will see the group enrol at One Tree Hill College for their education while engaging in an intensive OFC football training programme.
Tiputoa was not expecting to be chosen to represent the Cook Islands in the inaugural implementation of the Education Centre, but he was honoured when the invitation came his way.
“It came as a surprise to me and one I am very humble about receiving,” says Tiputoa.
CIFA Technical Director Jess Ibrom was very proud to send Tiputoa to New Zealand as the first Cook Islands representative.
“It’s an amazing privilege to have Conroy identified from the Cook Islands to enter into the new Education Centre,” he said.
“I can see this will definitely help enhance his football development and more importantly meet his education needs,” he added.
With international football experience at only age 16, Tiputoa hopes to continue improving and reach his full potential at a professional level, a dream he believes will come closer to reality after participating in the Education Centre.
“I want to be the best footballer I can be and for me this is one step closer to achieving my dreams,” Tiputoa said.
The OFC Education Centre – powered by AIA is a full-time pilot programme being implemented by the Oceania Football Confederation. Its purpose is to empower lives and develop high performance people by linking academic study with football learning led by OFC Education Centre coaching staff. Seven student-athletes from OFC Member Associations have been included in the inaugural intake, and will spend two terms at One Tree Hill College in Auckland, New Zealand.
For more on Cook Islands football visit www.cookislandsfootball.com