The National- Friday, January 14, 2011
By DUNCAN WILLIS
A TOTAL of 64 teams nationwide will be competing for the Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup challenge from Feb 4-6 with major sponsor Coca-Cola Amatil officially signing the sponsorship deal yesterday.
Earlier 253 teams had shown interest but Coca-Cola Amatil Ipatas Cup (CCIC) officials reduced the number by running trial matches where the teams were judged on performance, sponsorship and team build up.
The CCIC has grown from its humble beginnings into now a nationwide competition with teams from around the country showing interest every year.
CCIC general secretary Frank Rai said teams from Bialla, Kokopo, Popondetta, Lae, Wau-Bulolo, Wau Country and Madang would begin the Northern Zone challenge in Lae.
Two teams from Kimbe, the Popondetta Butterflies, and 12 confirmed teams from Lae including reigning champions Kamkumung Crushers will be on show during the February tournament.
Two teams from Port Moresby’s off-season competitions will be competing.
n To assist, Lae Biscuit Company has cemented its rugby League slogan of “No Ref No game” with a K10,000 sponsorship for the CCIC referees.
CCIC chief executive officer Timothy Lepa was grateful.
“Lae Biscuit has been sponsoring rugby league in the country for more than 30 years and we thank them for their support,” Lepa said.
According to Rai in the last 12 years, they have had a hand on the Ipatas Cup sponsoring in the form of a team, the Lae Biscuit Tambuaks.
“Lae Biscuit for the last three years have backed our referees but officially signed the deal last year,” he said.
Preparations are well under way and the competition set to kick off with the Northern Zone Challenge in Lae next month.