Shelley takes over as head of Lahanis

Normal, Sports

The National, Thursday 25th April 2013


LONG-TIME Goroka Lahanis fan and board member, Sarah Shelly is the first woman to head a rugby league franchise in the country.

Shelly, 33, takes over after franchise owner and former chairman, Goroka businessman Simon Sia of Bintangor fame, who decided to step down and allow her to take on the responsibility after being satisfied she was ready for the job. 

Her appointment took effect when the Lahanis welcomed her with a big win over the Gulf Isapea. 

Shelley is no stranger to rugby league in the country. Her father, Terry Shelley is a former player and administrator.

He played for the Paga Panthers in Port Moresby, Chimbu Brothers in Kundiawa, and Brothers in Goroka, and represented Goroka and Chimbu at Highlands Zone trials. 

Although retired from rugby league, Terry continues to support the code through the Shelley family company Nowek Ltd as sponsors of Goroka Royals and a minor sponsor of the Lahanis intercity side over the years. 

“I would like to see that the Lahanis club is professionally managed and to see development pathways for Lahanis players into the national side,” Shelley said.