THE PNGNRL Bid is on a mission to adhere to the call from Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare when he said: “ I feel I am setting PNG on a major historic path, paving the way for rugby league to have a significant impact on the social and economic livelihoods of our people and this nation in the future.”
PNG’s favourite rugby league player Marcus Bai has reportedly joined the NRL Bid as an ambassador to deliver a series of community development and talent opportunity programmes around the nation.
Marcus Bai’s passion for PNG’s entry into the NRL, and his long term association with the bid’s strategic adviser Paul Broughton, influenced the Ulamona native now based in the Gold Coast, to join with the bid and he would be committed to best serve the youth of PNG.
The chairman of the PNGNRL Bid, Minister for State Philemon Embel said: “Marcus is a hero. He will be a guiding light for social and player development and a great role model for the youth of PNG,” when welcoming the inclusion of Bai
Meanwhile, PNGNRL Bid manager Bev Broughton told The National in an interview yesterday that one of the first community rugby league programmes was a summer camp run by top NRL coaching staff in next January.
The week-long coaching clinic would be held in Goroka, Eastern Highlands province, in which Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fitler and a member of the Rooster’s coaching staff, Ronnie Palmer, have indicated their interest to attendthe coaching clinic would involve 50 children with ages ranging from 13 to 15, who would be selected to attend.
The PNGNRL Bid committee manager Bev also revealed that other top coaches from the 16 NRL competition clubs have indicated their interest to take part in the programme but are yet to confirm their participation.
It would be the first camp of many in series, over the next three years, to identify talent and to drive the message across for children to understand the price to pay to become the best.
“We are always reminded of the declaration of the Prime Minister’s statement when announcing the Government’s intention to seek a license, and that edict is our pathway to go forward.
“They have an opportunity for anything they want to be and to never forget they are sons of PNG,” Broughton said.
According to Paul the summer talent opportunity is not confined to the best athlete.
“Much is about attitude and desire and the boy who finishes near the back of the group in different tests but gets a little better each time, is just important as the gifted athlete,” he said.
On behalf of the PNGNRL Bid team, Embel also congratulated the 2015 South Pacific Games bid team and believes that the bid’s position is an overwhelming opportunity for PNG.
“The development of a state-of-the-art stadium for rugby league over the next five years would be a great addition to PNG for the South Pacific Games and many sports and events and sporting codes and not just league,” Embel added.