Player’s act of kindness aims to inspire 9-year-old to reach top of women’s football

posted in: News, Recognition

While excitement builds for the coming FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, a simple act of kindness by a New Zealand age group international player has won the hearts of the WaiBOP football community.

Tiana Hill and Laria Howse.

Tiana Hill (22) has gifted the shirt she wore at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France to a 9-year-old player who dreams of reaching the top in the game she loves.

Hill presented her shirt to Laria Howse, an Otumoetai junior player, at a recent Girls Only Holiday Programme in the Bay of Plenty.

Hill, who plays as a defender for Hamilton Wanderers in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League, also coaches at Otumoetai.

Main photo: Hill playing for Wanderers against Eastern Suburbs last season. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Hill told Otumoetai’s social media channel the reasons she chose to give her shirt to the young player.

“Laria has an awesome attitude as a player and a person. She is really talented and has such a humble character.

“Before gifting her this, I asked her about her aspirations. She said she wanted to play in the Premier League.

“I gave her my shirt in (the) hope that she would be inspired to take football to the next level but also be reminded that there is someone that will always believe in her and have her back!”

Hill said she had her mind set on gifting the shirt for a while, having coached Laria at programmes this year.

Otumoetai’s Facebook channel acknowledged the gesture, with the club saying: “It was an amazingly kind gesture and shows just how awesome the people are at this club!”

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