League aid pact signed

The National,Tuesday June 21st, 2016

THE National Rugby League (PNG) and Digicel Limited announced a three-year partnership to support and educate rugby league fans throughout the Pacific region.
The announcement between NRL’s chief commercial officer Michael Brown and Digicel chief executive opfficer Maurice McCarthy was witnessed by Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko, Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League chief executive officer Bob Cutmore and NRL country manager Mark Mom, as well as Australian Jillaroos captain Ruan Sims and Kumul prop Stanton Albert at the National Football Stadium yesterday.
The partnership includes three priorities area which are NRL Pacific Outreach — educating youth and women across the Pacific with focus on achieving real social change, sponsorship of the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII tours — and the introduction of a ‘Pacific Warrior’ programme to uncover rugby league talent throughout the Pacific.
The programme will involve more than 200,000 students and 1000 teachers across 100 schools through PNG, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
These will continue to build up the success of those players already established in partnership with Australian and PNG Governments.
Brown said the partnership would ensure that league continued to grow and prosper throughout the Pacific region.
“League has an incredible following throughout the Pacific and NRL has been very fortunate to benefit from many talented players from the region for many years,” Brown said.
“Our partnership with Digicel will ensure that more fans throughout the Pacific will have a choice to connect with league and more importantly, that more school students and women are educated on positive health and wellbeing.”
McCarthy said community sponsorship was an obligation of his company, who were committed to the communities they operated in.
“Rugby league is a popular sport throughout the Pacific and we are incredibly proud to partner with the NRL to ensure more communities have greater opportunities to develop skills required to play and learn positive values including team work and mateship,” McCarthy said.
“Grassroots programmes such as the NRL Pacific Outreach concept provides opportunities to empower children to chase their dreams and realise their potential.”
Minister Tkatchenko said that the partnership of between NRL and Digicel was another pathway to reach the next level.
He said with the kind of facilities the country had invested in, sports such as rugby league were in a good position to progress and develop far into the future.