Leon Buskens, Oil Search Country Manager also announced an Amendment to its naming rights sponsorship agreement in Port Moresby today.
“This is an Amendment to our sponsorship commitments that were not used last year due to the cancellation of the international calendar. These are being rolled over to this World Cup year,” Buskens said.
He said Oil Search became the inaugural sponsor in 2017 “as we believe the country’s national sport of rugby league should be the domain for both men and women. We are honoured to play a part in this remarkable journey that is also an important enabler for change.”
Due to the global pandemic experienced last year, all international rugby league games including the Orchids planned Test matches and tours were cancelled.
“The Rugby League World Cup seems likely to go ahead in October and our Orchids have international and warm up matches ahead of their participation in the greatest rugby league showdown held every four years,” Buskens said.
The Oil Search PNG Orchids’ first appearance on the world stage was in 2017, when they participated in the inaugural Women’s Rugby League World Cup in Australia.
“Their participation in the World Cup helped to raise the team’s profile, using the national sport of rugby league to increase awareness of gender equality and empower women to represent, lead and inspire.
They have played against the Australian Prime Ministers 13 Jillaroos, pre-season matches against Brisbane Broncos NWRL Team, inaugural Pacific Test against Fiji and participated at the inaugural 2019 Rugby League World Cup 9s tournament. In 2019, the Oil Search PNG Orchids made history with their first ever international win in Port Moresby against the visiting England women’s team,” Buskens said.
“This is a powerful platform not only to promote the superb talent of our women in sports and rugby league but to inspire all women and girls to work towards their dreams.
“We are indeed pleased to see a home-grown talent in current Oil Search PNG Orchids Captain and St George Dragons WNRL player in 2020 Elsie Albert further advance in the sport abroad.”
He added: “We are also excited that many more girls and women can reach the highest level of our national game like Elsie and enter the international arena.
“Each of these women not only carry their own ambitions; they carry the hopes and dreams of more than half the nation each time they put on the PNG Orchids jersey.”