PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League will now push towards making the establishment a more professional, modern day organisation following some major decisions at its Annual General Meeting at the weekend.
In what was a *rst for the PNGRFL, by taking the AGM to a place away from the major centres, over 60 afiliates will also remember that they were part of a historic accomplishment when they adopted a new Constitution.
The members from leagues around the country who attended the one-day meeting at the Wabag Cutural Centre were provided with the PNGRFL Annual Report and endorsed and accepted changes to
the PNGRFL Constitution to put the national league more in tune with modern day successful National Sporting organisations and the changes in the game on the international scene.
All attendees were also provided with the PNGRFL strategic plan for that sets out the "Roadmap" for the game over the next three years.
The strategic plan and constitutional amendments were necessary after a whole of game review was undertaken by the PNGRFL in partnership with the NRL, said Chairman Sandis Tsaka;
"It is important that we action the recommendations from the whole of game review conducted, which is vital to the long term success and stability of the organisation.
It is critical we take the steps outlined to ensure we are a credible organisation with strong governance, strong *nancial policies and accountability and a constitution that is in line with modern sporting and commercial organisations.
We have to look at Rugby League as a business and unless we don't have a strong base then we cannot capitalise on commercials opportunities that will make the game stronger in PNG and internationally. We
want to be a credible organisation and we have come a long way towards achieving that over the past 12 months and particularly with the decisions made today."
For the *rst time since 2009, audited financial statements of the PNGRFL were presented at the AGM despite, the PNGRFL Board only being in of*ce since the 31st May 2013.
While the Tsaka led administration would have been forgiven to just focus on the audited reports since they took office, the Board felt that if they didn’t have audited financials completed from 2010 to current, the credibility of the PNGRFL as a professionally managed entity would continue to be questioned;
"We could have taken the easy way out by claiming that we are not party to how the PNGRFL was being run before our time but the credibility of the organization is what we wanted to restore, therefore we went through great lengths to reconstruct the nancials from minimal records and have an independent audit completed for 2010, 2011, 2012 and part of 2013."
Chairman Sandis Tsaka said. "Thanks to a great team of professionals on the current board, Reatau Rau who is our treasurer, Robert
Bradshaw, a lawyer with extensive experience, Brad Tassell, our CEO with an equally strong background in rugby league administration and the other members, plus great guidance from the NRL seconded consultant Paul Grogan, we were able to achieve all this.
Now that the AGM has endorsed all recommendations to update the current constitution with strong governance and a structure more conducive to the changing trends in rugby league internationally, we can now implement the strategic plan to make the game in PNG rightfully take its place as the national sport in the country.
However, it is only the start of the many challenges ahead of us, and when the rest of the stakeholders of our game embrace our plans as the member leagues at the AGM did, I am optimistic that the game will grow to unprecedented levels.
There was some good feedback and suggestions from our affiliates and it is great to have a forum where we can discuss these issues face to face and take them into consideration.
Over the next 12 months management will be working with each league in the country to implement management and competition policies and procedures to ensure they are delivering vibrant, well managed competitions across the country to fall inline with the PNGRFL constitution.
This will make the game stronger and able to attract funding and investment from sponsors. There is still a lot of work to be done but it is an exciting time for the game," Tsaka said.
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