Using rugby to push positive messages

It’s no hidden fact that a majority of Papua New Guineans love rugby league, and what better way is there than to spread positive messages using this platform.

This is the aim of the Oil Search player pathway program, where it is hoped that the partnership between the PNG Orchids and Brisbane Broncos will help change society’s mindset on women.

During the recent announcement of the partnership, Brisbane Broncos NRL Women’s CEO, Tain Drinkwater, said this is a great opportunity to promote female participation.

Drinkwater also sees this a chance to build on and leverage female empowerment in PNG.

“And I guess more importantly, really start creating pathways and opportunities of the women, and young women in particular into an elite sport,” she said.

“We hope that the PNG community really gets behind the women’s competition and in particular, the women’s team.”

Similar sentiments were shared by Oil Search Managing Director, Peter Botten.

Botten said the partnership between PNGRFL, the Broncos, the Orchids and the Oil Search franchise gives PNG women the opportunity to reach their full potential in the national game.

“At the end of the day, this represents a pathway for women and women’s empowerment in this country, which is just an outstanding opportunity,” he stated.

“I think that’s a tremendous opportunity to really build not just the sporting franchise, but also to really work on the message about women’s empowerment, the message about how unacceptable violence against women is in this country.”

Amelia Kuk, who represented the Oil Search Orchids in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, will become the first participant of the pathway program.

Meantime, the Broncos will be holding a trial with the PNG Orchids in Brisbane on 2nd September, where Kuk will be playing against her former teammates.

(From left, during the July 24th announcement: Amelia Kuk, Orchids patron Lynda Babao, Brisbane Broncos NRL Women’s CEO, Tain Drinkwater and Oil Search MD, Peter Botten)

Carmella Gware