Komo Rugby League Association’s (KRLA) teams will be running out next Sunday in their brand new official jerseys provided by ExxonMobil PNG Limited (ExxonMobil) on behalf of PNG LNG.
The KRLA is a grassroots initiative established by the Komo youth in January this year to support peace and unity through rugby. Their initiative, enabled by Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) and Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF) efforts to promote law and order, has reduced tribal-related violence and increased local economic activity.
When presenting the jerseys to the team captains, the ExxonMobil PNG Upstream Asset Manager Kim Hahn said ExxonMobil and PNG LNG are pleased to support youth and community leaders in Komo.
“We are both humbled and excited to see what the youth and communities across Komo have achieved together. This initiative serves as an example for all those in Hela that want to live in peace and build prosperity for its people” she said.
Hahn said the company’s continuous sponsorship of the PNG LNG Kumuls and the PNG Hunters demonstrates its confidence in rugby league as a tool to develop people and unify communities.
The KRLA teams will be heading into an elimination round next month before the grand final scheduled for September 14.
KRLA president, Edwin Morris, said it was a Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNG RFL) requirement that all affiliates have the association’s logo and the PNG RFL logo on team uniforms when playing.
“I want to thank ExxonMobil for providing these jerseys, and for its ongoing support and encouragement of rugby in Komo. To have professional uniforms is a big boost for the esteem of the players and the fans,” Morris said.
Nearly 2000 spectators and supporters from as far as Lake Kopiago and Tari township converge every Sunday afternoon at the Komo station to watch the games.
In April ExxonMobil donated sporting equipment and watercoolers. The company also facilitated PNG Hunters coach, Michael Marum and players William Mone and Stanton Albert; and PNG National Rugby League manager, Cathy Neap’s visit to Komo in May.