Australia to help new PNG rugby league - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia to help new PNG rugby league

28/04/2009 12:48:12 PM Comments (0)

Australia plans to help set up in football-crazy Papua New Guinea a national rugby league competition aimed at improving public health and school attendance.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he and PNG Prime Minister Michael Somare have discussed how to develop PNG rugby league and also provide greater opportunities in Australia for PNG players.

It was hoped to come up with a plan for consideration at June's ministerial forum.

Mr Rudd said on Tuesday a national PNG competition, linked to school attendance and public health strategies, could achieve great results.

Participation in associated children's training programs in villages across PNG could be made conditional on school attendance.

"We have seen progress in other such programs in Australia and the chief and I have discussed the possibility of the application of that approach in PNG," Mr Rudd told reporters.

Sir Michael said he was keen to place more emphasis on sports, especially rugby league.

He hoped Australia and PNG would sign an agreement in June on enhancing sports cooperation.

The people of PNG had long learnt about rugby, soccer and AFL from Australia, he said.

The sports push would be linked to school attendance, which Sir Michael said was a priority for his government, along with more discipline at schools.

"Discipline is one thing in our schools, you have to make young people adhere to the rules," he said.

Mr Rudd said a key objective for PNG from the Pacific Partnerships for Development aid program was to raise primary school participation from the present rate of 53 per cent to 70 per cent by 2015.

"This is going to take a lot of work, but until we get school education right in all the villages across PNG and up the level of attendance, then there will be big challenges for the future," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news