By Sylvester Gawi – EM TV, Lae
Wau rugby league oval in Bulolo, Morobe province will be hosting the 2015 Ipatas Cup Morobe challenge next weekend.
Bulolo MP, Sam Basil who presented K30, 000 to the organisers on New Year’s day said that this is part of the district’s initiative to increase business activities in the towns of Wau and Bulolo.
The Ipatas cup has been the biggest offseason rugby competition in PNG for the last 16 years.
The Coca Cola Ipatas cup will kick off its 2015 season on January 10th; and for the first time it will be played at the Wau rugby league oval.
Chief Executive Officer of Ipatas cup, Timothy Lepa, says he is happy to bring the games to Wau as it was one place where rugby league was first played in Papua New Guinea.
The Ipatas cup is all about identifying rural based talents; and running the games in Wau will give more opportunities for many upcoming players in the district.
Sam Basil says despite political differences on the floor of parliament, the Ipatas cup can be used to bring together leaders outside of parliament.
He says, through its district team the Armsec Bulolo Miners, many rugby talents like Penrith Panthers Wellington Albert, have been identified through the Ipatas cup.
Many other talents are waiting to be identified, and the district will continue to ensure that sports is part of its many developments in the district.
Morobe Challenge Coordinator, Tonny Mcharets says Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill is likely to be invited to join Grand Chief, Peter Ipatas for the official kickoff in Wau.
Eight teams from 16 centres throughout the country will be taking part in this year’s competition.
Bougainville and West New Britain have also been included in the competition for the New Guinea Islands challenge.