By BENJAMIN KOITAKA
SOUTHERN Highlands businessman and chairman of PNG Games host organising committee (HOC) 2020 Sape Molumi, pictured, says the province was mired with social issues but could be better if simple community-based initiatives were supported to change attitudes.
Molumi made the statement while presenting a cheque for K60,000 yesterday to the newly established Kagua Erave FC soccer team who will compete in the Highlands Conference in the National Soccer League in Port Moresby.
He invited other businesses from the province to support teams in order to develop sports.
“This is not about winning the competition,” Molumi said.
“We also have other social issues and as the province is going into restoration (from an earthquake in Feb, 2018), we are doing this to promote sports to change the mindset of our people.”
Molumi made dual cheque presentations in the presence of Kagua Erave MP and Sports Vice Minister Wesley Raminai and club chairman Albert Veratau.
The club received K40,000 from the 2020 PNG Games HOC and K20,000 from his company Construct Oceania Ltd.
Molumi said it was the first time for the province to field a team in the NSL.
“We as Southern Highlanders and as the chairman of the 2020 PNG Games organising committee, are obliged to sponsor a team in the NSL,” Molumi said.
“In Southern Highlands we only play rugby league and basketball and for us to have a soccer team in the best competition is an achievement.
“As a corporate citizen, I would also like to pledge my company’s support and present this money for the team preparations,” Molumi said.
Raminai also pledged to help address law and order problems by investing in local and national competitions.
“We have social issues in the province and football is one way that we can tackle that,” Raminai said. “We want to change attitudes in the province,” he said.
Raminai was confident that the newly formed soccer team would be competitive.
“I think people from the Kagua-Erave electorate will appreciate a team representing in NSL and I would like to thank Sape Molumi under his leadership for coming on board and sponsoring the team,” Raminai said.
Raminai, who is the patron of the club, predicted that his electorate would be producing players who would vie for NSL and international honours over the next five to 10 years.
By BENJAMIN KOITAKA