The National, Friday 7th September, 2012
THE PNG NRL Bid and the PNG NRL (Digicel Cup) have teamed up to positively promote rugby league internationally this week.
Both organisations have chipped in to bring Network Ten Australian Rugby League Programme “The Game Plan” to Port Moresby to cover the Digicel Cup Grand Final between the Agmark Gurias and Mendi Muruks this Sunday.
The Game Plan features former League legend Steve “Blocker” Roach and is broadcast in the prime time 8.30pm slot each Thursday night.
Bid cheief executive officer Brad Tassell said the Bid was proactive in promoting rugby league in PNG positively.
“We have developed strong contacts in Rugby League and the media internationally and use these to help promote the game and the nation positively.
The opportunity to feature the PNGNRL Grand Final on the “Game Plan” show is a fantastic one for PNG and I thank PNG NRL chairman Sudhir Guru for partnering with the Bid to deliver this opportunity.
“Both Sudhir and I believe its important that we take these opportunities to showcase what is good about rugby league and how fanatically it is supported up here.
At the end of the day this is about the game and the people who play it, officiate and support it.
By working together in the best interests of the game we can move rugby league forward in PNG.
Guru agreed with Tassell saying: “I have a good relationship with Brad and I think its great that two sporting organisations can come together and do something positive to advance the game and improve our image.
The Bid and NRL have worked on a number of projects over the past year and we, like the Bid are dedicated to raising the level of professionalism in administering the sport in thge country.
“Having Network 10 recognise our competition is a positive step forward. I would now call on the PNG public attending the game to be at their best behaviour.
“Support your team passionately but in the right way.”
The Game Plan crew will also cover the Southwest zone junior grand final day (U13, U15 and U17) tomorrow. They are part of the Bid’s national all schools development programme.
“We have a fantastic National programme which is achieving real results and providing a dedicated pathway for PNG Youth to improve as footballers and people.
“It’s important that we show that there is development of our juniors going on and that PNG can manage a professionally structured programme that can produce not only great footballers but good people,” Tassell added.
Adam Thompson from the Game Plan said the Network was excited about covering what is happening in PNG: “Everyone in Australia hears about how passionate the PNG people are about their game.
“However most Australians would not even know that PNG has a semi-professional national rugby league competition.
“As Brad has said in our discussions this is a chance for PNG to really showcase how rugby league in PNG is more passionately supported than any other nation in the world.
“It will also show that there are good things being done in development on a national level.
“I am really looking forward to my first visit to PNG and to the Digicel Cup grand final.”