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From: FIBA.Basketball (dated 30 June 2021)
One of Papua New Guinea’s pioneers in basketball, Mrs. Veitu Diro – CBE, is not done with PNG basketball. She is still pressing on from the sidelines, going all-out supporting for the country’s cause to further promote and develop the nation’s hoops movements as a whole.
Diro has represented PNG on numerous international tournaments both in basketball and netball. She served as captain and coach of the Papua New Guinea Women’s basketball and captained the national netball team. Already retired from any official capacity, Diro is still the same passionate, noble, and dedicated PNG hooper – teaching and mentoring the country’s future standouts.
PNG’s veteran hooper stated that seeing kids excel is what keeps her going. A teacher herself, Diro mentioned that teaching is her passion and it gives her great satisfaction teaching kids and watching them grow and develop.
Her education background, she graduated from Rabaul High school and went on to pursue a course in education in Port Moresby.
As early as the 1970s, Diro already started handling the playbook and drawing board for Hohola Demonstration School. Since then, Diro has played official roles for the Basketball Federation of PNG (BFPNG) whilst coaching mostly juniors players in the girls and boys division. She officially retired from playing and rep duties in 2001 but had already transitioned to coaching long before retiring her jerseys and sneaker through the PNG rafters.
With the help of her husband, Brigadier General (Rtd) Chief Ted Diro, CGL, CBE, OSL, FAIM; Veitu has built her camp at home to host kids and teens once in a while aside from her regular coaching gig at the Ela beach. Her camp includes a river to swim in, a grass court, and outdoor gyms for the kids’ development while cooking food for them.
The President for BFPNG, Karo Lelai, credited Diro as one of her mentors and urged her to take a leadership role post her playing career. Lelai went on to say that Diro has always been the epitome of a female leader carving out the way forward, together with fellow female mentors – Mrs. Emma Waiwai and Mrs. Auvita Rapilla.
Lelai added that Lady Veitu had encouraged her and literally placed her on the leadership path in sport both on and off the court. Together with Sir Ted, they continue to play a guiding role for her family and values their knowledge and desire to always contribute to nation-building.
Diro’s dedication and determination to help the sport she loves has influenced generations of PNG players to succeed in the international arena. Her continuing work with the youths strengthens the foundation for PNG basketball and sports as a whole is secured under her guiding presence.