A GIVER will always be a one of such nature in the good and bad times. The colour may look different but Simon Sia has a heart of giving and supporting activities that are aimed at uniting people in communities, districts and Eastern Highlands as a whole.
“ Politicians will come and go but people we’ll be around, so I’ll continue to support the people of Eastern Highlands.”
Sia is a long-time Goroka resident, who started his business in 1990. He has since realised the significant role Eastern Highlanders have played in growing his business.
Looking at how he could give back to the people who had made him who he was today, Sia saw a gap to fill in to raise the flag of Eastern Highlands at the national level.
Once Goroka Lahanis’ former major sponsor withdrew its backing after the end of the 2006 semi-professional rugby league season, the club management had no option but to seek a
new cooperate sponsor.
To their amazement, Sia showed up and surprisingly announced his sponsorship as he took over as the new franchise owner.
The decision to sponsor the team that carries the flag of Eastern Highlands at the national level was not an easy one.
Knowing the costs involved, Sia was firm on shouldering the burden for the love of the province and its people.
With a clear understanding of the social impacts that sports could bring about into the community, he unknowingly united people from Kasam to Daulo Pass through sports and raise the banner as a united Eastern Highlands.
Today, through his sponsorship, Sia has clocked 15 solid years. He will be remembered as the longest sponsor in the history of the Lahanis.
With a good management team under his leadership, he has made the people of Goroka proud. Through is backing, the Bintangor-sponsored Lahanis had secured:
- Titles in 2010, 2011 and 2018; and,
- A grand final spot in 2013 and lost to Port Moresby Vipers.
The achievements under the leadership of Sia speaks volumes for the team and people of Eastern Highlands.
When the Lahanis secure a grand final spot, the whole province cheers on the Eastern Highlands flagship Digicel Cup team.
When asked about his sponsorship plans amid the Coronavirus pandemic, Sia said: “I love the province. I call it my second home and I will continue to support my province.”
He contested the general election in 2012 and 2017 but was unsuccessful.
“Politicians will come and go but people we’ll be around, so I’ll continue to support the people of Eastern Highlands,” Sia said.
“I don’t want to politicise the sponsorship as it is my gift to the people of Goroka.”
Eastern Highlands people are fortunate to have someone like Sia in their province.