By PARKER TAMBUA
GOROKA’S Sir Danny Leahy Oval will undergo a major facelift with Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu committing K2 million for the project, according to an official.
Eastern Highlands government sports coordinator Leeroy Kume told The National on Monday that Numu had pledged annual funding of K500,000 from 2020 to 2023.
The announcement of the commitment was made by Numu’s first secretary Laurel Toidalema during the Eastern Highlands Covid-19 Nines rugby tournament last month.
“This field is one of the oldest rugby league ovals in Highlands,” Kume said.
“It is the home of the Goroka Lahanis and has produced some of Papua New Guinea’s finest rugby league stars such as legends Stanley Gene and Makali Aizue.
“Sadly, the oval hasn’t seen much changes since the 1990s.
“The grandstand and the eastern stand were the only two main structures erected in the early 1990s.
“They were in use until 1999 when both structures deteriorated due to continuous use.
“Maintenance was carried out on the main grandstand on several occasions.
“A new western stand has been built recently, thanks to former Goroka Rugby League president Jobby Bal.
“No maintenance has been carried out on the eastern stand.
“But I thank the governor for the commitment.
“The money will be used to build more facilities and a new eastern stand.”
Meanwhile, Kume appealed to the villages surrounding the oval to take ownership of the facilities that will be built.
He said a contractor had been engaged to work on the designs and necessities of the project while waiting for funding to be released in the coming months.
The oval has hosted four Test matches, which are:
- PNG-New Zealand (1990);
- PNG-Australia (1991);
- PNG-New Zealand (1994); and,
- PNG-France (2001).