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By Emmanuel Narokobi

As some of you may know, I’m the current President of the University Rugby Union Club or otherwise known as the ‘Piggies’. We are based at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and our club mainly consists of players from UPNG and Gerehu. We have 4 male grades and one female grade.

Photograph
The 1965 Aduni Rugby 15. Back Row L-R: Jack Karukaru, (Sir) Elton Brasch, Kondra Isolde, Bill Gammage (I think), (Sir) John Kaputin, Bill Warren, ??, (Sir) Robbie Namaliu, (Sir) Tony Siaguru. Front Row L-R: ??, Lepesang Meli, (Sir) Joe Nombri, Tekure Agelavu, ?? Minsen Peni, ??. Need some help to identify the ??’s. The persons later Knighted have their titles in brackets). (See more old rugby pics here).

Our club was established in 1965 1964 and was originally called Aduni (which was an abbreviation of Admin College and University). Over the years much has changed, like our name changing to ‘University’ but at the same time allot also remained unchanged like the constant requirement for funds and good management. I took over the job in 2004 and it’s been 5 years of growing and learning on and off the field for me and everyone else at the club. I’ve seen the club grow from the days when we had only one set of torn jersies to share among 3 grades in a day. So by the time the A grade was ready to run on the jersies were already heavy and wet from the sweat of the younger grades.

It has not been an easy road and I recall having a chat with a Chiefs player a month ago who commented about how lucky we were to have a winning side and sponsorships. I had to remind him that what we have so far did not come overnight. Obviously our greatest achievement at the club so far for us has been the last two years of winning the Premiership Grand Finals. But it took us 11 years to win a premiership since our last one in 1995. Yet even after winning games like that you still have to get the admin side of the club working so that you can take care of players medical etc and then you have to maintain what you have and try to build that further.

So to kick start 2008, we are truly thankful to Beatrice Mahuru, Mr. Wayne Honeyset and Mr. Syd Yates of Kina Finance Limited under their brand EsiLoan in accepting our offer to be our sponsors for 2008-2009. Below is a word from our sponsors which was released at the media launch.

http://www.masalai.net/clients/kina/esiloan.jpg

Kina Finance Limited, through its EsiLoan Brand is proud to be the Exclusive Gold Sponsor of the University Rugby Union Club, known as the Piggies. With our sponsorship investment of K25,000, the team will now be officially the EsiLoan Piggies.

EsiLoan has had a long association with sports in Papua New Guinea, and Rugby Union is one of the sporting codes we have been behind. At Kina, we value the principals of sports. Sport is an integral part of just about every community, every province, and every country. In one way or another, everyone is involved in sports or some sort, whether they’re playing or watching or just knows someone who does either.

The leaders of tomorrow are being shaped and molded in the here and now. The lessons we teach the youth of today will be with them for the rest of their lives, and there is no better place to teach children about the world than on the field of play.

Competition teaches more than just how to win and lose, it teaches a person how to win with class and at the same time be gracious in defeat. It promotes respect for your opponent and teammates, i.e. your co-workers or partners, encourages teamwork and a willingness to work with others towards a common goal. All of these traits are beneficial in the every aspect of life, and therefore at Kina we view our investment in sports just as important as those we make in our business decisions.

Sports are an important teacher for young people in Papua New Guinea. It teaches them so many things that just can’t be as easily learned anywhere else. As parents, we can teach our children to persevere, to spit in the face of adversity, to fight the good fight and never give up, but those are lessons that really cannot be learned until they are put into practice.

Anyone can say they are going to see something through, but until they actually do it, it is just talk. Sports give youth a chance to work hard and achieve their goals. The EsiLoan Piggies are made of youth/young leaders who can influence change in the communities where they live.

After a long victory dry spell, they re-grouped, set themselves new goals and worked hard together to return to the ladder in 2006. In 2007 they were the premiers and the minor premiers for the season. They learned that they each have a role on the team and they must play it perfectly if the team is to succeed. This may mean they sacrifice personal glory for the greater good, a lesson that is very hard for most to learn, but it has to be done.

At Kina, we believe that sports teaches so much more than what is easily seen on the surface. The physical benefits are as obvious as the social benefits, such as learning to work with others and acceptance of those different from yourself. It allows for participants to find their role, change or adapt their role, and redefine who they are. It can give those who are involved a sense of self worth and accomplishment. Sports allows for team and individual success and failure and youth will learn something every time they step onto the field. Participation in sports does much more for our youth than just keep their bodies in shape and growing at a healthy rate, it helps them learn the ways of the world, the benefits of hard work and determination, and how to co-exist with others, even if you don’t particularly like them, to reach a common goal. These are traits that can be invaluable in the real world, and developing such traits as youth can only increase the chances for success later in life.

That is the drive behind our investment with the EsiLoan Piggies for the 2008 and the 2009 Rugby Union Season.

We wish them every success, both on and off the field.

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