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Former Canberra Raider and 2000 World Cup PNG representative, Mr Mark Mom has been appointed to lead the much anticipated NRL School program across Papua New Guinea delivering Rugby League Development programs into 80 schools across the country.

The former Kumuls captain who was employed as the Program’s In-country General Manager in August, believes that the Rugby League Program offers endless opportunities for the NRL and PNG alike.

“I’m passionate about educating our kids and there is no better way of doing this than through our nation’s most popular sport – Rugby League,” Mom said.

“It’s ambitious, but we are hoping to reach 80 schools, 50,000 students and train 500 teachers in three years.

“It is a big job and it has been tremendously exciting rolling it out in our first school in Port Moresby.”

The program commenced this week at Waigani Public School and works individually with students both on and off the field with literacy modules strongly emphasised across the five session program.

The Hon. James Marape, Acting Minister for Education said that the program was a welcome step forward.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the NRL to improve the quality of education for girls and boys of all abilities in PNG through rugby league related activities. This will increase the capacity of our teachers, “ Acting Minister James Marape said.

“I would like to thank the Australian Government and the NRL for bringing this fantastic program to our kids.”

The program is a three-year program funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and managed through a partnership between the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the NRL.

The NRL is partnering with the National Department of Education to deliver the program in PNG, with support from a range of stakeholders including the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) and the University of PNG.

Further information on the Program:

The Program aims to visit up to 80 primary schools and engage up to 50,000 participants over the three years in three regions (National Capital District, East New Britain Province and Eastern Highlands Province) of PNG. It also aims to develop the capacity of the PNGRFL to conduct development-through-sport programs.

Profile: Mark Mom

Mark Mom had a successful career in Rugby League as a player, coach and administrator followed by a career in Engineering Construction and other businesses. Mark had playing stints in Australia with the Canberra Raiders in the NRL and Easts Tigers in the Queensland Cup in between playing in the PNG NRL. Mark played for the Kumuls from 1994 to 2003 and was part of the 2000 World Cup Campaign in England/France and went on to captain the side in 2001.

Since retirement Mark has embarked on a successful working career being in positions such as General Manager and Country Manager for several large and highly respected construction and engineering companies. Mark has continued to stay involved with Rugby League coaching in the PNG NRL and was an assistant to Adrian Lam for the Kumuls 2008 World Cup campaign in Australia.

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