She said it was through sports that she had the privilege and opportunity to continue her education to the university level, and graduate.
Maino is 23 years old and is from Kairuku in Central Province. At 15 she was given an opportunity of a lifetime to study in the United States when an aunt and uncle took her there. Maino received a soccer scholarship in California and went to the University of Hawaii where she graduated with a Business Administration degree in May this year.
She was co-captain of the PNG women’s soccer team that won gold at the Pacific Games in Samoa in July this year.
“I’d like to use the MPIP PNG platform to continue to share my experience and continue to inspire aspiring young girls who have similar dreams,” she said.
“I am honoured to have been crowned in the presence of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape. This was the first time for a prime minister to attend the pageant crowning night since the MPIP PNG began nine years ago.
“I am truly humbled and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and give thanks and praise to God for my life and all the experiences life has offered me, including being part of this prestigious platform, MPIP.
“I’d like to thank my family and friends, teachers, soccer coaches, Professors, Miss Pacific Islands Pageant PNG, those who have followed my journey locally, nationally and internationally, those who have supported and played a role in my life that has ultimately led my path here, those who believed in me.
“Special mention goes to my generous sponsors - Paga Hill Estate.”
Maino said she would be even more honoured and proud to fly the Papua New Guinea flag and represent this diverse country and people at the upcoming Miss Pacific Islands regional pageant to be hosted by PNG in November this year.
She said; “Representing Papua New Guinea is not a new thing to me. Having lived in the United States for the last eight-and-a-half years, I have had the privilege of serving as a tourism and cultural ambassador in the states of California and Hawaii through collaborations with PNG Tourism North America.
“I have also served Papua New Guinea through sports, specifically in football. Team PNG’s theme to the recent Pacific Games in Samoa was “one team, one dream”. So too, is the case here as we go into the Miss Pacific Islands come November – PNG we are one team, one dream... to win,” she said.