Monday, 19 December 2016

KUMUL SUSA - Martha Karl's Football Story

By Sylvester Gawi - NBC PNG Sports:

It was a great Sunday afternoon in Lae Morobe province, two women's rugby league team were out on the paddock playing the curtain raiser for the Nines Rugby finals.

I panned my camera across the field to find the suitable game play to capture.

A player in black and white jersey picked up the dummy ball and was looking for options towards the opponent's defence. Narrowly she dummied and sliced through two defenders and passed the ball to her team mate who runs a couple of meters before she was taken down.

Meet 19 year old Martha Karl from Sinesine, Chimbu Province, a Papua New Guinean sports enthusiast who embraces various sporting codes for development.

Martha was a member of the PNG U20 Womens world Cup team, playing in the number 7 jumper for the red, black and golds.

It was no mistake she was wears the number 7 jersey for the East Taraka Spiders Womens Rugby League club, the same number she wore for PNG last month during the FIFA U20 Womens World Cup.

"I started playing rugby league in 2014, I played for the Eriku Panthers, 2015 for the Morobe Tigers and this year I was away in camp for the FIFA World Cup," Martha recalled her short rugby league journey.

Martha was part of he Northern Zone select side who played in the National Zone Championships in 2015.

She also took part in athletics, rugby union, AFL apart from rugby league and soccer which has played representative football.

Martha is one of several other women soccer players who have taken up rugby as an alternate sport while waiting for regular seasons to resume.

I can also remember other female athletes who have gone past their eligibility age and had taken up rugby, snooker, bowling etc. Some decided to stay on and play in the Masters division, but all in all time catches up on everyone.

Other notable athletes who've made the move to other sporting codes includes former PNG and Pacific Sprint Queen Mae Koime who is now heading womens rugby league development in PNG.

Raphaella Baki also made a switch from being PNG's long distance runner to become an amateur boxer. She firts represented team NCD in the 2014 PNG Games and later the Team PNG at he 2015 Pacific Games which she won silver.

Many other female athletes in PNG have made the transition into male dominated sports, but for Martha Karl she is determined to maintained her form in her beloved PNG soccer team.

Martha is optimistic that her Lae Football Association (Suspended by PNGFA) can be recalled so soccer players like can go back and continue playing soccer.

All in all, she has her ambitions and goals in life that she is juggling together with her sporting trainings. She is hoping to become successful in all her sporting endeavours.

wishing you the best Martha our Kumul Susa

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