In what is a first for the Club, a number of Bulldogs players and staff will tomorrow embark on a week-long trip to picturesque Kavieng in Papua New Guinea, where they’ll take part in rebuilding local infrastructure, and facilitate health, education and sports clinics.
A selection of first grade players including Mitch Brown, Martin Taupau, Shane Pumipi and Brett Lane, as well as up and coming players Moses Mbye, Paul Carter, Leilani Latu and Gerard McCallum, will be joined by club staff and members who will assist on projects in three main areas: education, health and rugby league development.
The trip is being hosted by the Kavieng Hotel with a number of partners including Canterbury League Club, ACPE and Australian Business Apprenticeship Centres offering financial and logistical support.
The work will include providing maintenance at local village schools, educating communities on important health issues such as HIV as well as running footy clinics for the sports mad kids of the region.
Bulldogs player Mitch Brown who has played 81 NRL games is looking forward to the experience.
“I’m excited to be a part of this project, said Mitch. “Travelling to an exotic location and seeing young rugby league mad kids will be a real buzz.
“Bulldogs in the Community is such an important part of our Club and our role as rugby league players. The opportunity to travel to Kavieng and help with construction work at health clinics and conduct coaching clinics was on opportunity to good to refuse. I think it will be a very rewarding experience, it will help the New Ireland community and give everyone from the Bulldogs a perspective of life in a totally different country”.
This week’s trip is extending the great work the Bulldogs do in the Community internationally, benefitting thousands of New Ireland school children who would not have had this opportunity otherwise.
Martin Taupau who spent time as a teacher’s aide before joining the Bulldogs squad fulltime is very excited to be part of the trip.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the locals and exploring the islands, said Martin. I have always wanted to visit PNG so this trip is a once in a life time opportunity. I can’t wait to be there, visit the schools and see the best of what PNG has to offer.”
PNG TPA’s Australia and New Zealand representative Michael Woods said the high profile of the Bulldogs, together with the incredible passion Papua New Guineans have for rugby league makes this a particularly exciting trip that has the potential to show PNG in a new light.
“New Ireland province is a very beautiful part of PNG and this trip is a great way to showcase to Australians the sort of coastal holiday they can have there while also having a positive impact on the local community who not only need the assistance being offered but who will really appreciate a visit from such a prominent league team.”
The Bulldogs would like to extend a very big thank you to Papua New Guinea Tourism for their guidance and assistance in planning this community initiative, along with Canterbury League Club, ACPE and Australian Business Apprenticeship Centres for their assistance with this very important and worthwhile community project!
Keep an eye out for updates throughout the week and a full wrap up when the group returns on Monday, October 29!