Focus on growth

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By KEITH PUARIA

FORMER PNG Rugby Football Union vice-president Peter Tsiamalili Jr has raised concern about the true direction of PNG rugby heading in 2010.
While congratulating his replacement Robert Nilkare, the Bougainville rugby chief brought to light issues that needed strong consideration by the PNGRFU executive headed by president Richard Sapias.
Tsiamalili Jr said he was concerned that this year’s calendar did not have much emphasis on national development programmes.
Tsiamalili Jr added that annual grants from the International Rugby Board (IRB) were purely for development, with a small per cent for the international calendar.
He said while international participation was important, the internal development of the code was a major part of, and terms and conditions for the grants.
“Furthermore, a five-year strategic and development plan has already been developed, as part of the last IRB grant submission. 
There really should not be too much space for too much change,” he said.
He resigned as vice-president due to personal reasons, and also citing a total snubbing on matters regarding the running of the union, as an elected member of the board. 
Tsiamalili Jr said  there was so much promise and excitement in the new executive, with the zest to move forward, however, that hit an early snag. 
“The Oceania Cup and Rugby World Cup 2011 qualifiers early into our term, were quite a success, and set another benchmark for the new board.”
“However, a top priority board meeting that was supposed to have been held through this period never eventuated. The meeting was supposed to happen to make sure all executives were informed of where the PNGRFU was. There was no collaboration or sharing of thought on tasks facing the union,” he said.
He stressed that priorities had been overshadowed and caused lack of consultation between members of the board; consultations that should be made with fair representation and views of the outside centres.
Tsiamalili Jr, also the chairman of New Guinea Islands Rugby warned that “kitchen cabinet-like” running of office would seriously isolate the opportunities of the centres and regions to be heard, and there was danger of the union heading that way.
“The only time we hear about some development or achievement in rugby out here is over the media.
“Where are the outside centers in all these growth plans, these decisions?” he queried, with what he felt was a lack of communication on the part of the main body.
“The only time PNGRFU speaks to us is when they need us to spend money, to travel to tournaments.
“NGI spends more than any other region to get to national events, with the established unions in Kimbe, West New Briatin,  Rabaul, East New Britain Kavieng, New Ireland and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville,” Tsiamalili Jr said.