Solomon Football > News > OFC U-20 Women's Championship 2014 > Dream close to reality for Naqarita Simeon

Dream close to reality for Naqarita Simeon

Ms. Simeon views her appointment as the pinnacle of her five year career as a referee. She started in 2008 when she was prompted by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Women’s Development Officer, Diane Justus to attend a basic refereeing course.
“I often see Naqarita watching football while her younger sister was playing so I encouraged her to become a player and later she became a referee. I think she had the passion for football all along and all she needed was a nudge looking at where she is now,” Ms. Justus says.
Since then Ms. Simeon has not looked back and owes her dedication to her commitment to being a referee to a newfound sense of belonging and hope she has found in football.
Ms. Simeon recalls coming through personal struggles and a sense of hopelessness but football has given her focus and direction.
“There were lots of personal difficulties in my life but since I joined football I have entered an environment which has both supported me and nurtured me. The comradery and friendships I have developed in football has made me a stronger person,” Ms. Simeon says.
This is not the first time for Ms. Simeon to receive the call up from OFC, her first came in 2009 for a similar youth competition. However, she missed the opportunity after the tournament was cancelled after the tsunami in Samoa.
This time, however, fate seems to be on the side of 33 year old who is looking to fulfilling a personal goal. Since becoming a referee Ms. Simeon says she realised the opportunity that exists for her as a woman and she wants to make use of the chance.
“I am inspired by referees before me who have gone out and done things we never dreamt of such as Jovita Qilamasala. As a woman the challenge is greater but so are the rewards – you do not have to go far to break new ground,” Ms. Simeon says.
In New Zealand, Ms. Simeon will be assessed closely since she could very likely travel to Costa Rica later on in the year for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. If she performs as expected Ms. Simeon could become only the second woman from Solomon Islands to be appointed for a FIFA World Cup in the discipline of refereeing – this is something that Ms. Simeon is tryin to play down in her mind.
“I try not to think of Costa Rica too much because I have to focus on what is immediately ahead of me. I want to go out there and do my best and use my training and my experience to perform my duties,” says Ms. Simeon.