By KEITH PUARIA
THE Bougainville Black Orchid Sevens scheduled for the end of this week, has been deferred to Jan 30-31.
It will also be the last tournament for the next two years with a top prize money of K20,000 for the event.
Bougainville rugby boss Peter Tsiamalili Jr said the event would be running into their fourth year with the patronage of the ABG President James Tanis.
“Basically, this will be the last for the next two years. We will now turn our focus on our resources – on capacity-building and infrastructure within over this period,” Tsiamalili said.
“We won’t be sending teams to any outside competitions. We will try to save this money to facilitate our plans,” he said.
“During this period, we will be looking at developing our coaching skills, refereeing skills, trainers and then push the game into the South and Central districts, he said.
“Our travelling teams and players have been lucky enough with support of our business community and government, but with our current plans of growing rugby within, this support will go a long way for not just rugby but other sports as well,” he added.
Tsiamalili stressed that with infrastructure, the development of a small rugby academy was part of this plan and with rugby as the main body, other sports would also build from this academy.
The former Pukpuk and Rugby PNG chief executive officer said the deferral of the Black Orchid Sevens was now an opportunity to make the January event a bigger occasion, with all prizes set.
With the top cash prize money of K20,000 for the Cup winners and K5,000 for runners-up, an extra total of K10,500 in cash would also be up for grabs in the Plate, Bowl and Shield categories.
“The growth of rugby and tournament in Bougainville wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our corporate sponsors over the years,” he said.