Story and pictures by JACK AMI
A NEWLY established Touch Football club Datafix is setting the standards in the code in Port Moresby.
Founder and franchise owner of Datafix Touch Football Club Ray Alova formed the club in 2016 to keep unemployed youths, students and adults occupied and to foster a family-oriented environment.
Alova said the idea to get male and females from all ages together is to advocate against violence against women and children, as well as promote personal development and healthier living and life style in the community.
This was not only about sports, he said, but also about encouraging youths to become good citizens in the community.
“This is something new for a club to get its priorities right to see that the sponsors, team management and players achieve their goals and aims in the code.
On Sunday, Nov 12 the club staged its annual awards presentation and luncheon at the Port Moresby Car Club which ended the successful 2017 on a high note.
“There is no secret or hidden agendas but we want the club to be managed professionally and players recognized annually and also to encourage players to perform to their best of abilities.
The former rugby league man played for Magani club and also touch football in the late 1980’s and his experience and background is indeed an added bonus for the club.
Alova said his small local firm has allocated more than K50, 000 in two seasons and is willing to continue his family’s sponsorship to maintain the club’s pride in the Corporate Touch Port Moresby competition.
“This has reaped results for the Datafix Technologies Ltd-sponsored club to be one of the most discipline and outstanding club in the Corporate Touch Port Moresby competition this year” said Alova.
“In this club the welfare and well-being of the players and officials is very important and not only in the competition but to improve and develop their lifestyles too.
“As the franchise owner and with my directors Elizabeth and Connie (Ivosa) we have made commitments for the club to be one of the best in Port Moresby.
“We purchased uniforms from Australia and shoes at Brian Bell for all the players to use during the competition.
Alova said other incentives such as education and allowances are given to committed players and officials.
“We also assist elite and national players and officials with levy fees and travel allowances for national and international duties.
“This is some sort of record maybe in touch footy and sports in the country with excellent incentives by a local company.
Helping sporting teams is not a new thing for the family who in 2015 supported the Solomon Islands men’s team with funding and equipment for the duration of the Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
This gesture didn’t go unnoticed as Alova was asked to be patron of the Solomon’s Touch Football Association this year. He was also appointed as a team manager for the Mini Games in Noumea, New Caledonia.
Senior and former international Sevi Sarea, Gure Gau, Rachel Laing, Kila Karara, Elizabeth Alova and elite player Diane Vetu are the backbones of the club to lead the youngsters for two seasons with high spirit and discipline.
Senior players like Diane Vetu, Sevi Sarea and Ridley Frank have made commitments to remain with the club as life members and to finish their touch careers with the club.
“Our welfare is a priority which is a lot different from other clubs that we previously played for.
“This is a great club with a great future and this is where we’ll remain and retire.
Alova said some elite players have indicated their interest to join the club next year which he has accepted with open arms.
Vetu switched from Moni Plus Tribes to Datafix to help establish the open women’s with the support of Marie Max Tu’u who was later joined by her younger sibling Hannah this season.
“These three Gulf women made the Alova family proud to secure the grand final against Tribes in CTPM despite going down 5- 4.
On behalf of the firm and club I extend my gratitude and appreciation to the executives of CTPM as an affiliate and our players like Marie Max Tu’u and Diane Vetu for representing PNG.
Alova, in his mid-50s, is from Gavuone village, Abau, Central and wife Elizabeth hails from Pari, just outside NCD. Their daughters Connie and Margaret are involved in touch footy as well.