WESTERN Highlands Governor Tom Olga has supported rugby league in his province by sponsoring the inaugural Governor’s Cup competition to kick off in three weeks.
Olga, after retaining his powers as governor of the province, said he had always intended to run the competition.
The competition is planned for this year to 2012 and will be restricted to players in the rural communities having at least a team from each of the seven districts.
He also allocated funding for the event which is set for December to March. He is also calling on business houses and local people to support the event.
“Sports are one of my policies to target young people. I strongly believe that other related issues such as drug abuse and lawlessness among youths can be addressed through sports.
“My government is committed and we will support rugby league, including other sports to the next level,” he said.
An interim board and management team are already in place to manage the competition to be played in districts equipped with proper facilities.
Olga said he would announce the full package of the competition at the launching which is expected to be held on Dec 30.
The competition bylaws and team draws have already been approved by Olga and are now with the PNG Rugby Football League office to be sanctioned before the competition starts.
He said only affiliated leagues and players would be allowed to participate to avoid unnecessary trouble and confusion.
Some districts are already aware of the competition, with Jimi district already put ting their hands up to participate.
Off-season competitions are already underway in all the seven districts gearing up for the event.
Other leagues registered with the PNGRFL and have shown interest include Nondugl, Banz, Minj, Banning, Hagen, Gomis, Kondopina, Mul, Nebilyer and Jimi.
The board will decide whether to allow more than one league in a district to participate or ask them to combine and send a team to the Governor’s Cup.
It is expected that at least 10 teams would participate in the competition as long as they meet the PNGRFL and Governor’s Cup competition requirements.