The National, Friday 24th August 2012
FORMER Popondetta touch representative player and coach Ronnie Oivo is the major sponsor of the Oro Rural Touch tournament.
The first ever tourney will be staged at Agenahambo village in Central Kaiva, Sohe district, to coincide with the Independence celebration in September.
Oivo said he would sponsor the event annually.
This is history as Popondetta’s Urban Touch Association was unable to stage events in the rural areas and the initiative taken by Oivo is a step in the right direction.
“Players and the community should take ownership and have an enjoyable and peaceful event” Oivo said.
The champions in the Open Men’s, Open Women’s and Open Mix walk away with the Cup and cash prize, which is yet to be confirmed while the runner up’s minor cup. And the individual awards player of the tournament male and female as well as best and fairest of the finals.
During this event HIV Aids awareness will also be facilitated by peer groups through Anglicare to educate youths, especially the rural community on the deadly virus.
Oivo has appointed another rep Lincoln Horoma and Agenahambo Primary School teacher Terry Agenbo to manage the affairs. And senior players from Popondetta Urban to support with referee’s.
He initiated the Annual Oro Rural touch tournament to promote, develop and market the code in Oro, especially target rural youth participation both male and female.
Tournament Director Horoma said so far 14 teams have expressed their interest to participate in the three day event. Teams are hosts Higaturu, Hanjiri Sauni, Sairope 1, Sairope 2, Hujava, Koipa, Igora, Barevoturu, Sirembe, Sui, Hamara and Iora from Sohe and two teams from Ijivitari Ewage and Ambogo but more teams are expected to join in the 11th hour.
Teams like Higaturu, Sauni and Sairope will be the favourites for the top honours but they should not under estimate the unknown’s to rob them off the major prize.
Horoma said touch in the Sohe District has improved and developed, and players here should be selected for Team Oro as they are rural grass roots talents and not the ones from Popondetta Urban attending PNG Games in Kokopo in November.
The affiliation fee to compete in the tourney is K300 per team for Open Men’s, Open Women’s and Open Mix” Horoma said.
He said teams will only be rural based and teams from Popondetta Urban will not be entertained but players can play to strengthen the competition.
Horoma said training squads will be selected to play against Alotau in December.
Meanwhile the guest at the tourney is Sohe District Administrator who will be presented with the Southern Region runner up trophy and reports by the officials of Higaturu Touch Association.