The Australian National Rugby League in PNG has a new manager.
Twenty-nine-year old Cathy Neap of Enga and Gulf parentage will now oversee the Australian Aid partnered sport for development program.
Neap who first joined NRLPNG in 2014 said she was excited about the announcement and is looking forward to challenges ahead of her.
“I am humbled by the opportunity given to me by NRL. I will do my best in my new capacity to inspire more young people, particularly girls to live a positive and healthy life, and to use it as a platform to promote awareness on gender based violence in our communities.”
NRLPNG has a total of 16 permanent and eight casual staff, 11 of them are women, and conducts rugby league themed programs in PNG.
The program utilises the popular following of rugby league to promote positive behavioural change with a focus on primary school aged children through its flagship program League Bilong Laif (LBL).
Neap, who captained PNG Orchids in last year’s World Cup, acknowledged the contribution of out-going general manager Mark Mom.
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank Mom for his outstanding work in bringing the organisation this far and congratulate him on his appointment as Pacific Program Coordinator as well. This program started from humble beginnings back in 2013 and has grown from strength to strength under his leadership,” she said.
“We have a great team in National Capital District, East New Britain Province, Eastern Highlands Province and Autonomous Region of Bougainville who work hard to deliver sessions each term in often trying conditions. I will do my best to maintain the standard and will work with my team to continue rolling out the programs.”
Mom when contacted said Neap was the obvious choice to lead the NRL PNG team. “We’re extremely proud of Cathy and what she has brought to the NRL. She possesses all the attributes of a leader and the humility to work hard, always setting the example.”
He said: “Women in sport are starting to push to the top of their respective organisations due to their impressive skill sets, the creativity they bring to the table and their willingness to work hard on improving themselves. It’s a great step for the sport of rugby league, and another step forward for gender equality in our country.”
NRLPNG also runs Wellbeing, Voice Against Violence and Life, Literacy and League programs concurrently with LBL, in collaboration with key partners such as the US Embassy, Family Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC), Westpac Foundation and Save the Children.
The program utilises rugby league as a tool for positive social change in communities.