TWO young girls have set their sights on making it big in the sport of soccer in the country.
However, they are not interested in playing. Instead, they want to officiate.
Vunimono High School students Mereoni Tikomaivavalagi and Anjani Devi sat for the national referees exam last Saturday at the Fiji Football Association headquarters in Suva.
They were among the seven women who sat for the test along with 21 men.
Tikomaivavalagi was the youngest of the lot at the age of 14 and she said she found soccer fun and interesting.
Her father, Jolame Tikomaivavalagi, was a former football player and she said she wanted to continue the soccer legacy in her family.
"My father is a former soccer player and even though I can't play, I can continue the legacy by being involved in soccer and becoming a referee," she said.
"I would like to become a top referee in the country one day and I look forward to travelling around the country and maybe even overseas to officiate."
Devi is 16 years old and while no one in her family is into the sport, it is her ambition to create her own legacy.
"I have a huge interest in soccer and the way for me to be involved in it is by being a referee," she said.
"I keep up to date with international and local soccer and my favourite club is Manchester United."
Referees assessor Balram Nair, who oversaw the exam, said the number of referees in the Southern Division had increased.
He added the interest shown by women in officiating was a good sign.
"We have some new referees who have come to sit for the exam," he said.
"Some are school students and then we have seven females."
He said the results of the exam, which was also carried out in the Western and Northern divisions, would be released next week.
"Those who pass the exam will become members of the Fiji Football Referees Association."