first_imgRugby League BY FRANKIY KAPIN The continuous rise and the success of rugby League in Lae, Morobe province, stood out to earn further stripes of success in 2018, also proving the code is on the right pathway and contributing to Papua New Guinea. Not just competition wise but also in terms of crowd control and managing hosting facilities. For the first time in July, Lae hosted the Intrust Super Cup country round 19 of season 2018. It was between the SP PNG Hunters and the Norths Devils. It was followed by the PNG LNG Kumuls first of three international series against the England Knights in October – a milestone for Lae rugby league in 2018. The turnout and level of control as well as support was fair and evident in both international matches proving to be swift success of enjoying great footy. If the milestone was an indication, the Chow brothers Ian who is the franchise owner of the Lae Snax Tigers and Lae Biscuit Company chairman while his brother, Adrian, the chairman of the PNG National Rugby League Competition and and the chairman of Snax Tigers share a common place for sports development in the province. Unlucky to make it three premierships in a row, two-time Digicel Cup champions Lae Snax Tigers are in for a promising season of newcomers spiced with the Lae Snax Academy team outclassing 23 other teams to be crowned the 2018 Lae Biscuit 9s champions in October. The Chows who own the Lae Biscuit Company are also the franchise sponsors of current PNG National Soccer League champions, the Toti City FC as well as the Fiji Snax Aviators of Nadi. Ian, following the announcement of his appointment as chairman of the PNG Sports Foundation mid-year, said foremost is the need to consider that Lae and Mt Hagen need sporting facilities. He said there has been too much centered around Port Moresby. For Lae, Ian said it was the corridor of Papua New Guinea and Mt Hagen being prime locations in the country needed sporting facilities as these centres have a population that can continuously use the facilities to generate revenue. “We have to build facilities that are affordable by the people even up to a capacity of 10,000 people,” he said. Ian indicated that there is no point on building a sporting facility that can’t sustain itself overtime. He is considering donor countries to help build sporting facilities in Lae. Ian’s sibling, who is currently administering the Lae rugby league, has been the light at the end of the tunnel for league, the competition and local clubs. Adrian has been instrumental in the push for Lae rugby league clubs to secure sponsorship from a good number of business houses in Lae in 2018 and the commitment to continue in the coming years. But more important is that Adrian was instrumental in ensuring that the Lae rugby league was able to tick the boxes allowing for two international matches this year, a first in Lae afer a long time. As far as increasing stadium capacity in Lae is concerned, Adrian believes so much work needs to be done upfront from securing the land available as well as garnering the commitment and support of the business community and the government to sustain the need for new sporting facilities in Lae that can cater for the supporters. But the Chows are not finished with rugby league only. Now that the PNG Football Association soccer impasse is over and the new management in place headed by John Kapi Natto is the single most anticipated move appealed to make it happen by Lae Biscuit Company. The Lae Biscuit Company’s interest for soccer, specifically the National Soccer League has been put forward by Ian indicating to come aboard apart from just being involved with the Toti City FC. And it couldn’t be even better with the new PNGFA president and Ian backing each other as chairman and deputy in the National Sports Foundation. We keep our fingers crossed.last_img