Larsen Marabe, Wellington Albert (pictured) and David Loko accompanied Mendi Town lord mayor Vincent Manda and Mendi town manager Steven Temo.
The Imbongu rugby league sponsored by Mendi town manager Steven Temo saw Gateway Bulldogs and Dragons locking horns to contest the Temo’s Cup and man of the match Marabe’s trophy on December 21. Sponsor Temo said he was once a youth who had involved himself in many illegal activities and then shifted his focus to the local rugby league competition.
He said he know many youths had the desire to venture into sporting activities such as rugby league and show their hidden talents but sponsors and funding were some of the constraints that hindered them.
“I am not a businessman but an ordinary public servant and I have heart for the youths who are struggling to make their way through sporting activities,” he said.
He said many of the youths are involving themselves in illegal activities because there is no support from their elected leaders and business houses.
He said staying in the villages or town (Mendi) doing nothing forced the youth to be restless and many resorted to involving themselves in drinking homebrew and committing other petty crimes.
“We need to cooperate and organise sporting activities to keep the youths busy and we would see drop in the law and order problems the province is experiencing,” he said.
He said he is happy to see the three Southern Highlands stars with them as they can be used as role models.
Mendi Town lord mayor Vincent Manda said he would stand by Temo’s side to support local leagues in the Imbongu district.
“Youths are the backbone of this country and it is everyone’s business to help them achieve their dreams either in sports or other areas they are gifted in.
He said rugby league is now a big sport in the country and many Southern Highlanders have the potential to develop into emerging stars such as 20-year-old Wellington Albert, who recently signed a two-year contract with Australian National Rugby League club Penrith Panthers.
He said he would support every other sporting activities and urged MPs and business houses to step in and support. The National