Teams lining up during the Championship opening parade
DEPUTY Prime Minister and minister responsible for sports Manasseh Maelanga yesterday launched the Inter Islands rugby 15’s championship at the Panatina Rugby field.
After the championship was dormant since 1985, the Solomon Island Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF) together with its sponsoring partners officially launched the inaugural competition witnessed by the deputy prime minister and his permanent secretary Fred Fakarii.
Speaking during the launching, Maelanga said that rugby union has been inactive for almost 20 years, and the opening ceremony signifies its rebirth.
“Yes, it has been alive, thanks to those who have been able to breath new life into it to keep rugby union alive,” Maelanga expressed.
It’s been the last two years since the SIRUF’s executive has been changed and effective that the sport has fully recovered, and Maelanga also applauded the current executive under the leadership of Frank Wickham.
“SIRUF is currently enjoying a bit of popularity which it has earned for itself over the last two and half years, and with the completion of its new stadium at town ground I am confident the federation will no doubt become an example for other federations who are currently struggling,” Maelanga said.
He also assured the SIRUF executive that through his ministry it will continue to ensure sports development in Solomon Islands becomes the integral part of development in the country.
“Sport development has a potential to influence development in all sector of development, and it is the responsibility of my Ministry to ensure this is achieved,” Maelanga added.
“Let us work together to fully utilize the potential of what sports development can achieve for citizens.”