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Big Dreams for PNG Rugby Union under new management

 By FABIAN BONGAI - Citi Sivarai 

Lifting rugby Union to be as good as or even better and more popular than rugby league; getting PNG Pukpuks and Palais 7s into the next Olympics and winning the gold medal at the Olympics are the dreams and goals NCD Governor Powes Parkop has set clearly when meeting the newly elected Members of the PNG Rugby Union ( PNGRU) and some representatives of its affiliate association on Friday evening. 

He hosted the dinner in his capacity as newly-appointed Patron of the PNGRU.

Governor Parkop said he was honoured and privileged to be appointed as patron, assuring the newly-elected Board of the Union led by Mr. Paul Siwi that he will use all his best endeavors, influence and energy to support the new executive and the affiliates to take this global and Olympic Games to another level in PNG, the region and also at international level. 

“ Rugby Union is a global game and an Olympic sports so it has great potential to achieve a win-win for the code and for the country. It has done wonders for Fiji both in terms of promoting the code, using the games as a platform to promote a positive pathway for young men and women, and also promoting their country in all aspects . If the Fijians can do it, I don’t see any reason why PNG can’t do the same or even better.”

On Saturday the 25th September the 17 affiliates of the PNGRU met and elected a new board comprising of Mr Paul Siwi as President, Mr Andy Ani from East Néw Britain Union as Vice President; Mrs Cybele Druma and Mr Norrie Kepsin as Members of Board of Governors and Ms Mathilda Tigilai who is the President of Alotau Rugby Union as a Committee Member. 

Noting the many differences that have affected the code in the past, Governor Parkop called on everyone to work together, build bridges and to always remember that the game is more important than anyone. 

The dinner meeting hosted by Patron Governor Parkop, was also attended by Minister for Housing and Urbanisation, Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, CEO of Kumul Petroleum, Mr Wapu Sonk, CEO of Steamship Group, Mr. Rupert Bray, CEO of Jmart Mr Justin Tan and other guests invited by Governor Parkop. 

Complimenting Governor Parkop’s commitment to rugby union, Minister Tkatchenko said he would give full support for the good of sport itself and the country as a whole.

“Rugby union has suffered for the last nearly ten years because of some personal egos but we must know that sport is bigger than all of us.This sport has a huge future ahead of us we are all here now to take it to the next level.” Said Tkatchenko.

PNGRU President Paul Siwi thanked NCD Governor Parkop for his leadership and accepting the role of being the patron for PNGRU.

“I believe we now have a good management team in place that will work together and be the change to take the code to the next level,” said Siwi.

He said he would work with his executives for the betterment of the sport itself in the country where there are plans to reclassify rugby union so that the sport is played throughout the length and breadth of the country.


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