The National – Friday, February 18, 2011
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE chairman of Hela Transitional Authority and Education Minister James Marape has called on individuals to refrain from making comments on the Hela Wigmen who have been accepted to participate in this year’s inter-city rugby league challenge.
The minister was responding to an article in The National which stated that John Kevin, who claimed to be an official of the Hela Wigmen, would challenge in court the management’s decision to have Port Moresby as the franchise’s home ground.
Kevin also claimed that he had initiated the idea of having a team in the semi-professional rugby league challenge in 2005.
Marape said Kevin should keep his mouth shut because he was only trying to demoralise the tremendous efforts and support of key people who made it possible in presenting the aspirations and intentions of the Hela people to field a team.
“What he did in the past is gone and nothing had materialised. The credit should go to people who have committed their time, resources and efforts like Governor Anderson Agiru. He (Kevin) should stop making unnecessary noises,” he said.
He said he had been allocating funds to improve the rugby league in the region over the years.
Marape said having the team based in Port Moresby was only a short-term arrangement until all necessary facilities were established to shift the location to Tari.
As Hela Transitional Authority chairman, he wanted nothing else but support for the new franchise.
Although funds have been pumped in to lift the standard of the competition in the region, he said there was not much improvement because of the lack of facilities.
However, the minister added that the players in the new franchise had access to training facilities now to improve on their performance.
He thanked everyone, including Julian O’Neill, for their time and effort to preparing the team to participate in this year’s challenge.