By BURI GABI
THE ToPalangat Grassroots Cup softball tournament currently underway on Matupit Island, East New Britain, has attracted six teams for the week-long tournament.
The tournament started on Christmas Eve and will end on Friday.
The teams competing in the challenge were dressed by Sir Michael Somare.
While other parts of the province were quiet over the festive period, the home of Brown Eagles softball clubs were busy competing in the event, courtesy of Prime Minister Sir Michael ToPalangat Somare.
The ToPalangat Cup is the brain child of prominent Matupit Island and Air Niugini senior executive Jack Pidik, who hails from Matupit Island.
“I came up with the idea to keep the youths on the island busy during the festive season.
“The tournament pitched off on Dec 24 and is currently underway on the island,” Pidik said.
He said Sir Michael had thrown his support behind the challenge which was named after him “ToPalangat”.
The Grand Chief, who is fond of his birth place, came up with the commitment to fully support the event and assisted in the form of cash prize money and the purchase of trophies.
Pidik commended Sir Michael for supporting the event.He said the ToPalangat Grassroots Softball Cup challenge would run for the next three years during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
It is understood that the acting Chief Secretary for the National Government Manasupe Zuro-neuc will be pitching off the grand finals on Friday.
Pidik said Matupit Island, or commonly known as Matis, was now more like a desert because of the volcanic eruptions and coming up with sports programmes for the youths was a good idea.
The winners in the tournament will walk away with the ToPalangat Cup and cash prize money, while other participating teams will be rewarded with consolation prizes.
Pidik said he would also be presenting a 40-horse power outboard motor engine together with a 24-foot dinghy to the islanders.
The dinghy will be used by the islanders to fetch fresh water from the mainland for cooking and washing.