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Only female president in football in Papua New Guinea

Of all her soccer male counterparts in Papua New Guinea, Diane Ulka Uran, the only female president has been running the football association in Simbu Province since 2006.
Diane is a teacher by profession and comes from Simbu Province. She has four children which 3 of them are boys and her last girl is currently following her mum’s footsteps in football.

Diane started playing soccer at an early age of 15 in Kundiawa, Simbu Province when she became the captain of the team, who than took her team to club championships not only in the province but to Lae, Madang and Port Moesby back in the 1980s. According to Diane, they were neglected to use the rugby field at times by rugby league officials in the province.

A close friend, Simon Koima who is the President of the NCD Soccer Association, described Diane as a good leader when it comes to sports. She is also a tough and a very outstanding player as seen from outside the field. When I met her, she was the outstanding player in her team at the Women’s Club Championships in Madang in 1996. After playing football for over twenty years, she decided to step aside and handed over the chance to the younger generations to take the code to the next level.

In 2006, Diane had the chance to lead the province soccer when she was elected as the President of the association. In 2010, she was re-elected again to the presidential seat.

When she reclaimed the seat in 2010, she had a dream and that was to construct a proper field for football fans and teams to use and watch the game become popular again. She successfully found a piece of land at Gon Kambua Primary school situated just outside of Kundiawa town. Recently PNGFA President, David Chung after his election as OFC President in Pagopago, Somoa officially conducted the ground breaking ceremony in Kundiawa.

Diane’s young daughter, Tetoria Robert who is also a footballer, started playing and was selected to take part in the Under 15 Championships in Singapore but could not make it as she was only 13. She was also at the ground breaking ceremony all dressed up in Simbu traditional attire to welcome the OFC President.
She lead her team, taking part in the local competitions in the districts for until 2006 when she stepped off the field to take up the post as the association president after the president’s tenure was up.

Before she was elected into the post in 2006, a local referee acted in the position stepped aside. Even though there were few disagreements among locals for the post, she stood firm and took over with a dream to build a proper football facility for the association.

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