Footballer Coral Seath with partner Carlie Paterson in Rarotonga. 20121806
Coral Seath was holidaying in Rarotonga when NZ went into lockdown. Instead of rushing home, she and her partner Carlie Paterson chose being ‘happily stranded’ in the Cooks. She left months later, looking forward to seeing her family but sad to say goodbye to Rarotonga – her second home.
Zealand footballer Coral Seath turned down the request to play football for
Puaikura in the local women’s competition, earlier in the year.
herself she could not stick around for the whole season if she was not going to
be on Rarotonga for long.
much persuasion and convincing from a player, she popped down to their training.
The hidden talents among local football players changed her mind.
Zealand in lockdown, she and her partner Carlie Paterson decided to extend
their 10-day Rarotonga stay into a longer vacation, allowing her to commit to
Seath’s inclusion, Puaikura went on to make a clean sweep in the domestic
competition winning the Round Cup Championship and Knockout Cup titles.
featured for Mangaia at the Cook Islands Games. The side won gold medal in the
Seath, 26, boarded the Air New Zealand flight returning to Dunedin and taking
with her all the memories and relationships she built with both the Puaikura
and Mangaia football teams during her six months stay on the island.
Representing team Mangaia at the Cook Islands Games. 20121805
says she returns with mixed emotions – excited to see her family in New Zealand
but sad to say goodbye to the island she basically called her second home.
how she joined the football team, she says: “It was quite funny. I got asked to
play by a lady who is part of the club, she saw me kicking the ball outside.
But I said I was on holiday and not interested to play.”
then I was stopped on the side of the road by the Puaikura sport president,
found out we had some family ties, so then he tried to convince me. I told him
I was not here long enough - I can’t stick to a season if I won’t be around,”
then on another occasion, one of the players working at IDCK stopped me on the
side of the road and said just come along for training and check it out. She
managed to convince me.”
popped around one afternoon to see what training was like.
“I saw a
lot of talent that was not really getting utilised. So, I thought ‘yeah’, I
joined the training, they bought my boots so I really had to play. I had good
experience with coaching back in New Zealand so they asked me to take a few
sessions and I got hooked.”
guidance helped Puaikura claim the Knockout Cup title for the first time in 11
years and Round Cup title after eight years.
“It is a
big achievement for the team,” Seath says.
also joined the Cook Islands Games this year playing for the Mangaia football
team who also won gold in the women’s division.
lucky to represent the island, it was a cool experience.”
was sad to leave the team especially when “they had just got started”.
stay in contact with the club who have a few things they want to put in place
and I will be their relation in New Zealand to help them do that. I will stay
involved with the club and do what I can for them.”
advice for young female football players: “Take opportunities when it comes to
playing for senior women’s team, they give you experience that young girls’
teams don’t. It makes you a stronger player.”
“Tap into schools that give you opportunities in New Zealand football leagues or even scholarships, see what you can do with CIFA to get scholarship to play football as well as go to school in New Zealand or even America.
record your games and send it to people/schools, it is the best way to get
scouted. If you want to go far in football, it has to be number one, focus on
Team Mangaia at the Cook Islands Games. 20121805
their stay on the island, Seath and her partner have been working in an
“on-call capacity” with Cook Islands SPCA who provided a lot of support for
spent the last six months spending time with Raro dogs and helping people with
their animals,” she says.
been a real eye opener, because what you see here you don’t see in New Zealand.
SPCA and Te Are Manu give so much. Rarotonga is lucky, there are two charities
who are willing to do as much as they can.”
acknowledged Edgewater and the Whittaker family who provided accommodation for
her and her partner and many rescue dogs.
were our feeding parents and without them we would not have been able to
achieve nearly as much with the SPCA or my football,” she says.
miss the people I have met and the summer weather and the relaxation of it all.
I look forward to returning to Rarotonga for another holiday.”
Seath started playing football at the age of 11, made the senior women’s team in Palmerston North when she was 14. She played school football and a bit of U20 for New Zealand before moving to the South Island where she joined a club in Dunedin.