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League Bilong Laif Program Fun Day

The League Bilong Laif Program held its Fun Day activity today at Sir John Guise Stadium. Three schools in NCD were invited to participate in the one-hour program who were Tengei Christian Academy, Salvation Army Primary School and Tedi Diro Primary School. Of those three schools, fifty (50) school girls whose ages ranged from 10-13 were selected to participate in the Fun Day activity. The 50 students were categorized into various groups to run basic ball handling skills, passes, kicks, to name a few.

Gracing the occasion were Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology and Sports, Honourable Don Polye; Australian Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing, Honourable Tim Ayres; PNG Sports Foundation CEO, Albert Veratau; PNGRFL CEO, Stanley Hondina; NRL Commissioner, Kate Jones; Deputy Chair of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and Interim Chair of the Queensland First Nations Tourism Council, Cameron Costello; Australian High Commission First Secretary, Maegan Clarkson; Team Up Partnerships Manager, Andrew Lepani; League Bilong Laif Program Manager, Cathy Neap; and other invited guests, including media personnel, amongst others.

The Australian Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing, the Hon. Tim Ayres said he was excited to attend the Fun Day activity organized by the League Bilong Laif Program.

“I am so excited to see you all display your training skills and drills. I have had big meetings with senior Government Ministers and business people in Port Moresby, but the best part of my trip is today. The Australian Government really believes that it would be a wonderful thing for Australia and PNG, if we could have a men’s and women’s team in the NRL. It would be a pleasure, if some of you were in the women’s team when it launched. We Australians would love to see a PNGean Rugby League team in the men's and women’s competition.”

Minister Polye echoed similar sentiments shared by Assistant Minister Ayres. However, he also touched on business opportunities, in terms of trade and manufacturing between PNG and Australia.

“On behalf of the Government, including the Sports Ministry that I represent and the students here today, I would like to thank the Australian Government for continuing to be a very strong and strategic partner to the development of sports, human rights, gender equality and young people’s sportsmanship skills development in PNG. While it is commendable to include PNG men's and women's teams in the NRL, I worry about its sustainability. You as Minister responsible, I would encourage Australian businesses to come and operate in PNG so that we can support sports together. Sports and business complement each other.”

The 50 school girls from three different schools in NCD, League Bilong Laif Program organizers, Minister Polye, Australian Assistant Minister Ayres, distinguished and invited guests, media personnel and everyone who attended the Fun Day activity had a fun-filled day, despite the scorching heat of the unfriendly Port Moresby weather.

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