Lifting rugby union and getting the national sevens teams into the next Olympics are the dreams of Papua New Guinea National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop.
He hosted the dinner on Friday in his capacity as the new patron of Papua New Guinea Rugby Union.
Parkop said he was honoured to be appointed as patron, assuring the new union board, led by Paul Siwi, that he would support the new executive and the affiliates to take the sport to another level in PNG.
“Rugby union is a global game and an Olympic sport so it has great potential to achieve a win-win situation for the code and for the country,” he said.
“It has done wonders for Fiji 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.”
Last month, the union’s 17 affiliates elected a new board comprising president Siwi, vice-president Andy Ani, board of governors members Cybele Druma and Norrie Kepsin, and committee member Mathilda Tigilai.
Noting the many differences that have affected the code in the past Parkop called on everyone to work together, build bridges and to always remember that the game was more important than anyone.
Complimenting Parkop’s commitment to rugby union, Housing and Urbanisation Minister Tkatchenko said he would give full support for the good of the sport and PNG.
“Rugby union has suffered for the last 10 years because of some personal egos,” the Moresby South MP said.
“But we must know that the sport is bigger than all of us.
“This sport has a huge future and we are all here now to take it to the next level.”
Siwi thanked the governor for his leadership and for accepting the role in rugby union.
“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,” he said.0
Siwi said he would work with his executives for the betterment of rugby in the country.
He said there were plans to reclassify rugby union so that the sport was played throughout the country.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS