The National – Friday, February 11, 2011
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
KUNABAU off-season rugby league, volley and basketball competitions in Chimbu’s Kerowagi district were presented K25,000 by local businessman Bari Palma last Sunday.
Palma presented the money and trophies at Mingende in front of a big crowd.
Palma, from the Bari tribe near Mingende, told the crowd during the presentation that the main objective was to address lawlessness along the Highlands Highway in the Kerowagi district between Koronigle bridge and Nend, the border of Kundiawa/Gembogl electorate.
He said the sporting activities that he sponsored had a positive effect on youths by significantly reducing criminal activities.
He said that section of the highway was now a safer place for motorists.
Palma said as a concerned citizen after seeing the need to rehabilitate youths and keep them out of trouble, he sponsored the off-season sporting activities.
He said since the competition started last November, many the consumption of homebrew and marijuana had lessened resulting in peace and harmony in the area.
He said that he was pleased with the positive achievement of the competition so far and would continue to support community sports.
Palma told participating teams from Kerowagi and Kundiawa/Gembogl districts that he would build two new courts for the volleyball and basketball and had already engaged a machine to build a new rugby league field.
He said the construction work would commence this week.
Kunabau off-season rugby league president Jeffery Tawia thanked Palma for sponsoring the off-season sporting activities.
Tawia said in the off-season’s 15-year history they had never received sponsorship of this magnitude.
He thanked Palma for coming in and assisting the league and at the same time rehabilitating the youths.
Meanwhile, in the men’s rugby league grand final, Kondo East defeated Wassan Eels 7-6 to walk away with the Palma Cup and the K800 prize money while in the junior grade Kondiu Titans defeated Wassan Eels 4-0 and claaimed K600 and a trophy.
Consolation prizes of K200 each were given to other 16 participating teams.
Similar cash prizes and silverware were given to the girls playing volley and basketball.