By ZACHERY PER
PNG rugby league export Stanley Gene, earlier this week, presented a new shield to the Gahuku off-season rugby league competition in Goroka, Eastern Highlands.
Gene’s representative, Dickson Gene, presented the shield to the league president, Gerry Teteh, on behalf of the England-based Stanley at the Bird of Paradise Hotel, and relayed the rugby league star’s sentiments he (Stanley) wanted to give back to the competition that he gave him his first taste of football.
Gene’s message to the players and administrators was that he had not forgotten the competition and wanted to help it in one way or another.
He said such off-season competitions helped immensely to shape players and keep them fit during the off-season.
In his message he encouraged more young men and boys to keep at the sport and they could have the same opportunities he did.
The shield will be called the ‘Gahuku Rugby League Stanley Gene Shield.’ He also donated two cups for the competition and made available prizes for the man-of-the-match and player trophies.
Upon receiving the shield, worth K1200, Teteh thanked Gene saying that for several years now there were no major prizes for winning clubs.
He said this was the first time the league had received a major contribution through the generosity of someone like Stanley Gene.
“We never thought we would receive such a boost and we are very happy at receiving this assistance on the eve of our grand final for the 2009/2010 season,” Teteh said.
He said the shield would be alive for the next ten years, starting this year (2010) and will end in 2020.
“The club that won the most premierships and had its names engraved on the shield by year 2020 would keep the shield for good,” Teteh added.
The league has 20 clubs playing this season with ten clubs playing in the city pool and another ten in the country pool.
Teteh said Golouka Nokotis and Nagamiufa Sharks will play for the shield in the A grade grand final this Sunday while Kafuku Spiders and Zogi Raiders will battle it out in the reserves.
The finals will be played at the National Day Park next to the Goroka main market.
The A grade first prize will be the shield plus K2, 000 cash, while the runner-up recieves K1, 000. In the reserve grade the winner pockets K1, 000 and runner-up K700.