The PNG Orchids through the PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) Inc. received K1.8 million from Santos to back its World Cup campaign in England this year.
Santos Country Chair PNG, Leon Buskens said: “Our values drive everything we do at Santos, and we are passionate about building a better future for the communities in which we operate. Our sponsorship of the PNG Orchids further reaffirms our commitment.
“The PNG Orchids only came into formation in 2017 but left a defining mark in 2019 with their first international win over England in Port Moresby. They are currently ranked 4th in the world and that for us, epitomizes the incredible talent of our women, their strength, courage and resilience.”
PNGRFL Chairman, Sandis Tsaka thanked Santos for its investment in the national women’s team totalling K3.1 million in the last three years.
“Santos is also supporting the development of sport in communities and the National Football Stadium (NFS), PNG’s home of rugby league where they have remained the inaugural naming rights sponsor of the NFS since its reconstruction.
“They remained with us through the two years of COVID-19 downturn period despite no PNG Hunters and international games at the stadium,” Tsaka said.
He said the investment by Santos in women’s rugby league is an investment in the empowerment of women and girls in PNG.
“We have watched our very own Elsie Albert, a home-grown talent excel in the sport abroad as a WNRL player with the St George Illawarra Dragons. We also have pioneer Orchid, Della Audama who was until recently, the head trainer of the Central Dabaris men’s rugby league team in the country’s national rugby league competition.”
Della has since advanced at the administrative level to become the Assistant Coach for the Santos PNG Orchids to the World Cup.
“The future of women’s rugby is bright thanks in part to the support of Santos and all our valuable partners,” Tsaka said.