The National, Thursday 02nd August, 2012
By GABRIEL LAHOC
ONE of the biggest soccer associations in the country, Lahi Soccer Association, is now on a new lease of life after a renewed relationship with Papua New Guinea Football Association and a new sponsorship by Consort Express Lines.
The shipping company is trialing this year’s sponsorship with LSA with the naming and promotional rights at competition venues at the University of Technology sports field and at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae.
On top of that, the company is also sponsor of Consort United football club as the latest club registered with the association this season and taking part in the B-league, reserve and Under-19 divisions.
Lahi junior vice-president and chief executive officer of Angau Memorial Hospital, Dr Polapoi Chalau said the association had struggled over the past decade because of poor management despite having many talented players.
“We have buried the past and renewed our relationship with PNGFA, one big challenge back then was sponsorship and clubs were surviving on their own but we are now thankful for Consort who have made it possible to develop football in Lae,” he said.
Chalau described the sponsorship as a “resuscitation” of the association and the aim of his management team is to focus on youth and women.
He appealed to other Lae-based business houses for sponsorship opportunities, and encouraged the public to help soccer in Lae, by turning up to watch and support the teams and players.
“We will welcome interested teams next season as well as potential managers and officials who have the experience to join us,” he said.
Currently there are over 1,000 players taking part through the 16 clubs in the A-league, B-league, reserve and women’s division.
Meanwhile, Geob Gariki, president of Consort United, provided an incentive for his 14 senior players by buying their soccer boots.
He said the club was also aiming to expanding next season with teams in the A-league and women’s division.